Treasure Island

Theresa Haffner

(August 25,1945 / Plainwell, Michigan)

Caregivers


1

- of course
my life has become
unmanageable

i can't stand to hear the cell phone
i can't stand to hear the door knock
i hate visitors because visitors
like inmates cannot
be turned off

i don't like anyone or anything

i am alone in a sea of faces
in an ocean of personalities

they do not abide



2

can't impinge can't penetrate

like a spirit with no
physical attributes i am unable to
bring change have effect
affect or manipulate physical reality

like a physical body with no
spiritual attributes i can
bring no impact make no
infusion or essence on
spiritual reality

cannot prevent the spiritual
beings around me
from spiraling to their own
inevitable and
inconsequential demise

the batteries run down in the
flashlights
the camera batteries
drain to two bars

the end is inevitable
and inconsequential

as a physical being i
only await my inevitable
termination

my evacuation

my physical effects swept up
boxed and carried out
having brought about no change
in physical reality

as a spiritual being
unable to endure
i can only
await
obliteration


3

the days go by fading into
one another

the physical beings around me
gather like vultures hopefully awaiting
the possible early onset
of Alzheimer's
disease

i get forgetful
i care but i am
powerless over my
fellow beings

i am not getting the care to which i am
accustomed or to which
i am entitled

caregivers glance at conditions
shrug their shoulders
and do nothing

do not impinge

like vultures they await
their pay
give a minimal effort
and complain about the other
caregivers

they do nothing


nothing can reach me
i cannot
reach out
i am unreachable


` background noise increases
further diminishing my
signal strength
my ability to
communicate


4

fuses go unchanged in the stove and refrigerator
the dishes unwashed in the sink

gathering
inactivity

one day (we don't know when)
this will all be gone

i will be remembered only
a moment or two

then new paint
new curtains
new fuses
swept away

and to what have i dedicated
my time upon the earth
unable to impinge
on physical reality
unable to infuse
my spirit

none no thing

it will be like i
never existed

like i do not exist


i can not rise above the
poverty that surrounds me

the cultural impoverishment


i cannot help but be
buried by it

and
disposed with it


5

because i experienced
it does not give it
validity

isolated

only joined in
commonality with others of my
species

in

birth death
procreation

eating and defecation

old age and deterioration

common markers

in between there is
nothing no thing


it doesn't matter
what we did what we felt
who we were
or what our individual experience was

there are too many people
already

there is no one to communicate to

the end remains the same

no one cares



6

don't forget to turn out the light

(if you don't, someone
else will)



Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(2011)

Comments about this poem (Caregivers by Theresa Haffner )

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  • Saadat Tahir (6/1/2012 5:26:00 AM)

    a long and painful but apt portrayal....
    the despondence and helplessness comes through like the shriek of the grim reaper...the surrounding muffled foot steps lost in a haze.....time against Adam's progeny!

    so touching and catches one by the scruff, yanks ya up to reality....
    lovely write

    blessed be

    sat (Report) Reply

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