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Don Wendorf

Rookie (12/23/47)

A Quarter of an Inch at a Time


She moved near me in college, to the house across from mine.
I knew at once this special girl was something rare and fine.
We slowly started strolling down a path of love sublime:
A quarter of an inch at a time
A quarter of an inch at a time

Through kids, careers, through fights and fears, we formed a wedded pair,
That knew each other deeply as we learned to give and share,
Ever stronger, growing closer, like two trees entwine:
A quarter of an inch at a time
A quarter of an inch at a time

Then came a bandit in the night, to rob me of my bride,
To slowly steal away her brain and personhood inside,
To make her serve a lengthy sentence, punishing no crime:
A quarter of an inch at a time
A quarter of an inch at a time

I watch a shade be slowly drawn to darken out her will.
I see her memory erode, from mountain down to hill.
I hear my singer drift off key, my poet stray off rhyme:
A quarter of an inch at a time
A quarter of an inch at a time

This dearest soul I've ever met, so caring, sweet and kind,
So lovely on the outside with as lovely heart and mind,
Now works to hold the fabric of her self as it unwinds:
A quarter of an inch at a time
A quarter of an inch at a time

As man and wife we've walked through life, down all its winding roads,
Up craggy peak, ‘cross desert bleak, we've borne each other's loads.
There's just this final mountain now, together we will climb:
A quarter of an inch at a time
A quarter of an inch at a time

Submitted: Tuesday, July 01, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote and recorded this for my wife early in her disability when we still thought she had Alzheimer's instead of the multiple little strokes we later learned about. Alzheimer's is a horrible, horrible disease and my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this in themselves or their 'caregiver.' I wrote of this and other emotional struggles in my book for caregivers: Caregiver Carols: a Musical, Emotional Memoir. The recorded version, with some added video, can be seen on YouTube.

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