Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Response to a Reader

In January 2003, my mother had a massive brain stroke. She was in Italy at the time, living at our villa in Calabria. In the spring of 2003, she returned to Canada and spent some time convalescing in a town in rural Ontario called Orignal. This poem relates the events of the first time that I visited her in Ontario and was witness to the ravages wrought by the stroke.


A PILGRIMAGE TO L'ORIGNAL

That he that is not busy being born
is busy dying.
------------------------------Bob Dylan



The last station to cross is the dirt road
that hits harder when the long drive
comes to a halt. You hate yourself
for begrudging her even this inconvenience.

The ranch house looks lost on the five-acres
of lawn that disappears into the undergrowth
and the bifocal eyes between the slats
of a shuttered window. "So you've come,"

a voice squeaks through the screen door
which reveals curator and medicus. She leads
you to a room with closed blinds; leaves
you with the changeling on the bed. You
could never have prepared for this.

The light tumbles into the room as you pull
up the blinds; turn to examine the face
of a homeless mind - translucent
and flaccid, blackened by pain.

She opens one good eye - greyer
than the clouds that spilt forgiveness
on you - and you are lost.


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5 comments:

sam of the ten thousand things said...

This is a strong read. Thanks for posting it, Nick.

Nick said...

Thanks,Sam.

vegetablej said...

Thank you.

Do you have other poems about your mother?

I would love to read some.

:)

Collin said...

Brilliant.

Nick said...

vj,

The answer to your question is in my next post.

Collin,

:-)