Heartache - Poem by william upton
He stares straight ahead,
His focus on the television
Or the wall
Or inside himself.
His communication is limited
To yes or no
Or to past phrases, brief and measured.
He sits and eats and naps
Day after day-
In a windowless room.
When he was first admitted, he was the youngest patient,
And he could realize the lifeless humanity that surrounded him
From the slumping heads in wheelchairs
To the tombstone eyes barely reflecting any sign of humanity.
This once dynamic athlete,
This former young executive
Flying through life in championship formation,
Now struck down by the slow, torturous beast of MS-
The monster that prolongs the grinding deterioration
Of the flesh and the spirit.
During our last visit he remembered in his eyes,
In his silent smiles, the girlfriends he once had.
He laughed without words at the craziest memories we had
As best friends,
Yet he could not remember if he had a roommate.
It was heartbreaking to witness the travesty
Of a man internalized by disease,
Confined to deeply embedded memories
With dwindling comprehension of matters at hand.
It's a throat lump seeing a brother
Fading away day by day-
Sitting there staring straight ahead...
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