Lynn W. Petty

Gold Star - 5,245 Points (3/29/28 / Newport Beach, California)

Rows Of Dodder Gray - Poem by Lynn W. Petty

I walked along the corridor passing the gathered,
Who sat within their wheelchairs, waiting.
Their faces were devoid of any thought.
They had that vague and blank Alzheimer's stare.
I found her sitting there, my friend, among the rows
Of dodder gray, she took my hand.
Through stroke-impeded speech, she strove
To formulate her thoughts into a spoken sound.
I read into the fear and pleadings in her eyes
The thoughts I thought she might have said,
Could she but speak:

'Is this the victory of the battle we call life?
Is this the prize of living, having lived
Those struggles, depressions, wars, and tears,
The heartbreaks we are forced to bear?
Is this my compensation for good that I have done,
The family I have raised? Is this the gift of living
By His Word? '

She felt betrayed, by God, that she must bear
The embarrassment of needing someone's help,
With the most elemental of her physical needs.
She stared at me, expecting some profound response.
I failed. Embracing her, we melded into one.
We together sat and wept.

Topic(s) of this poem: age

Form: Free Verse

Comments about Rows Of Dodder Gray by Lynn W. Petty

  • Bri Edwards (11/17/2016 8:40:00 PM)

    Their faces were devoid: an Alzheimer's stare.

    devoid of what? emotion, gaiety, sorrow, pain, ? ? ? maybe faces were blank?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    dodder gray? i find dodder as a parasitic vine and as a verb:

    Dodder | Define Dodder at
    Dodder definition, to shake; tremble; totter. See more.

    i guess poetic license will allow you to use dodder gray to mean old, trembling people. :)

    favorite lines:

    She felt betrayed, that she must bear
    The embarrassment of needing someone's help,
    With the most elemental of her physical needs. .........betrayed. i'm sure many stroke 'victims' feel this way, ...........................................AND others with a range of ailments or other disadvantages in their lives.

    but who does one blame for the betrayal? god? themselves? doctors? family? feeling betrayed would most likely be pointless in my opinion. depressed? YES! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    HUGGING AND WEEPING together (and maybe meds) could be the best solutions. i'd recommend a combination. the person should perhaps consider what their outcome would be if they did NOT have people to
    help with the most elemental of her physical needs. of course death could be an improvement.

    working as a nurse's aide for a couple of years while in my 20s, one of the first surgical patients i cared for was a man (60s?) who had had a stroke during a carotid endarterectomy, an operation meant to prevent an impending stroke. the guy spoke, but he could not get the 'right' words to come out of his mouth! so he could not be understood. his facial expression was pitiful to see.

    bri :)
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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 17, 2016

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2016

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