Treading Water - Poem by Valerie Lennox
Inexorably, minutes tick by
And time seeps slowly past
Like the trickle through the crack in the dam
Hardly noticed until
The level has dropped leaving a high water mark that no rainfall can reach
No storms can ever, no matter how wild
Fill the time, replenish the source
It is forever gone.
Hands once straight and strong
Grasp for a steadying hold
And gnarled and crooked fingers reach out
To touch, veined and wrinkled, and with a sigh
Retreat to clasp in withered unity, each other.
And rheumy eyes strain
To see the light as warm sunshine
Dapples on the leaves outside the window
Shadows flit and sometimes materialize in song
As a bird comes close and shakes its feathers
Now seen, then gone.
Life, punctuated by
Meal times, institutionalized episodes
In a drama so small and insignificant
And once a week, when duty calls
And his world is filled with sound and bustling
And all too soon, is quiet, again.
Treading water, a life lived in memories
Of love and loss and pain and joy
A symphony, now silent, of voices.
Echoes down dusty halls
And crumbling walls of a life once lived.
Of purposeful meaning marching forward
Ever on, not taking the time
To stop and see the…feel the…pulse of life
To notice the changes until it ends
Here, in this small room, alone.
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