Dedicated to Jo, my mom
Footie, I am 6
I once thought life was an exciting adventure.
I stretch both arms up to the bright sun, in a green grassy field, laughing & reaching for a butterfly…
I look in the mirror.
Who is that face?
Death slowly reclaims me to the grassy field.
I once loved to wear backless high heels and pink lipstick, clickety-click.
I’m in a large ballroom, my gown is tight and shiny. I wiggle and dance to the music..the foxtrot…laughing…the room is crowded with people I know…
Past images seen through a misty glass…
You’re in the room. I hug you, I sense how we once were, how we are now.
But when you’re not here, you fade.
And I fade, too.
You hold together the collage of my self.
When I am alone, the collage shifts around.
I once traveled the world, so exciting and new, open-eyed. What I know about today, is the way the sun dapples on the carpet through the window, how a bird comes to the feeder to eat and the trees stand tall and green.
I know I won’t know you, soon.
Fear and disappointment course through me.
What’s this unnatural thing? I want it to stop.
Sometimes I wake, the night is frightening. I see creatures in the shadows. They are alive and moving towards me. I cower and rage against the dark monsters.
Other times I wake, my emotions crowd me.
Fleeting sparkling pictures flickering. I strain to see. But
they slip away. I’m afraid of tomorrow.
I felt safe in my home in the storm.
Don’t you love me enough to take me into your home?
Am I not loved? Am I not a person who….should be loved?
I am careful with my feelings.
I learn to be stored away, out of sight.
I once looked towards the future, anticipating exhilarating adventure.
This is my doggie, his name is Footie.
I love him. I am 6.
Mama, do you see Footie? Mama, let’s rub his one white foot. Mama, he has one white foot! Mama, see! Mama, I love him.
When you bring my little dog to visit, I hold him.
When I hold him, the memories come back. I remember what it’s like to have him. I want to walk him.
When you leave, I can’t remember the color of his fur.
Can I keep him here? I am 92.
He’d protect me from the dark shadowy creatures that come in the night.
Life disappoints me.
It’s not a daring adventure. I once looked forward to every sunny day. Now every sunny day shows me what I am not.