Today's poem is by Lynne Knight

First Year of My Mother's Dementia

I opened the door and flicked on the lights
just as the deer seemed about to leap back
into the dark. Startled, he stood by the clay urn

he'd just overturned, dirt and shards heaped
near his strict feet. His right leg lifted slightly,
as if in amends. I smiled. His eyes blinked

so slowly he seemed tired, and I wanted
to invite him inside. I saw him sitting on
the leather sofa, legs crossed, leaning close

to listen, like someone having trouble with
the language. I talked slowly, wanting him
to understand, not be something other.

Then he leaped the dark as if he'd never been.
I swept up the dirt and shards, chiding myself
for thinking I could change the nature of things.

Copyright © 2004 Lynne Knight All rights reserved
from Deer in Berkeley
Sow's Ear Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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