Do I know you?

Do I know you?

You were my father.

So many years ago

What do I know?

I know you enjoyed alcohol.

I know you liked outdoors.

I know you worked hard.

Those are superficial.

You never shared you deepest thoughts.

Those were washed away

by streams from cans and bottles

as swift as the mighty Mississippi.

You were my father.

Did you love?  Did you care?

Did you hope?  Did you dream?

Unanswered questions fill my thoughts

so many years later.

You left me a child.

Now this  man understands.

I didn’t just lose you to alcohol.

Alcohol never let me know you.

A Clown in the Room

I sat next to her bed on a cold winter morning.  She looks as beautiful as ever.  So peaceful in her sleep.  Like she can live thousands of years.  The stark reality is that I know she can’t.  She’ll be lucky to live hundred days.  As I sit and stare at my lovely wife the nurse walks in.  “Time for her medication Mr. Moseby.”  She awakens my wife, who looks over at me and smiles.  

“I brought you something Helen, ”  I said.  I stand up and walk over to the head of the bed.  She thanks the nurse after she swallows her last pill.  Then she turns to me with her beautiful eyes and smiles once again.  My heart pounds as she looks into me.  I feel my body overcome with emotion.  The way she looks at me.  She always did that to me.  Our eyes meet and there is no one else in the world but the two of us.

“Look what I brought.  This beautiful picture of us from before we were married”  I tell her.  I look at the picture briefly before I show her. Our bodies  are entangled together into one.  So elegant.  The emotion of the moment captured in one snap of that camera years ago.  When I look at that picture now I see the young us but with a reflection of the current us.  She is still as beautiful as the picture in my eyes.  Sure time has taken away so much from her.  But when I look into those eyes of hers it’s as if it was the first time.  My body tingles and my heart races with joy.  

I slowly hand her the picture.  She looks at it and smiles.  I see her face change.  She looks so loving at this moment.  A smile slowly comes upon her face and she reaches her fingers to the picture and runs it across our bodies trapped in time.  My whole body is tingling in anticipation of her comments.  She looks at that picture so lovingly.  I know she remembers that moment.  I can tell she feels the feeling we had when our bodies were woven together.  

She slowly puts the picture face down onto her chest.  Her smile goes away and her chest rises and slowly retreats downward.  Her eyes are affixed to a spot on the ceiling for a moment then she glances and says “I remember.”  She smiles and grabs the picture and hands it back to me.  “Why is there a clown sitting in the chair of my room?” she ask me.

The moment is gone.  I exhale loudly as my heart suddenly aches.  She is gone again.  Gone into her world of her mind.  A world that no longer includes the man and woman in the picture.  Gone to the world of Alzheimer’s.  I feel all alone.  

“The clown is not in your room dear.  Only in your mind.”  This will mean nothing to her.  Like that photo meant nothing.  Although for one brief second, I felt she remembered.  Then she was gone.  Back into a different world.  I know the reality.  It will never dismiss the pain.  

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This is fiction.  It was written for Picture it & Write

I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pintrest.