Forgotten

Forgotten

Is it simply forgotten
or not remembered?

My father coughs
through his days,

asking for answers
only his brother knows.

Some books are better
read from the end,

he says. I don’t know
what to do.

He tries to spell his name
but the letters elude him,

teetering between symbol
and thought and choice.

The chair tips over
when I lean too far back,

replacing memories
with hardwood

and a new bruise
coloring my thoughts.

This word, that one.
A face, the date.

Last Tuesday’s crumb.
The floor accepts us all.

* * *

“Forgotten” first appeared in ISACOUSTIC* in January 2018.

61 thoughts on “Forgotten

  1. The longing in these lines alone touched me deeply.

    “My father coughs
    through his days,

    asking for answers
    only his brother knows.”

    Peace, Robert. You write of your father with a gifted pen. You honor him brilliantly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fine expression of that special kind of pain that comes only from watching a parent slip into dementia. I’ve been there, and yes, “The floor accepts us all.” Like the rest of this fine poem, this line resonates with me in a way I can’t explain.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your words have a way of pulling on my heartstrings, always gently playing a tune for me, and your finale strummed my cello’s high notes.
    “This word, that one.
    A face, the date.
    Last Tuesday’s crumb.
    The floor accepts us all.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your work is so beautiful, and you write with such grace and care, I always love reading your poetry. “The floor accepts us all.” The way you write about that finality is actually really beautiful to me, because it speaks of almost an embrace, a home-going to a loving and fully accepting mother. I love it being written this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are a master. So moving and beautifully observed and some how humourous too. I’m not sure if it is worse for the person at this stage or to be the loved one who can’t change things, but no doubt you helped by being there and treating him with the dignity you have shown with these words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Some Endings… | Roth Poetry

  7. “The floor accepts us all.” Wow. The student of Elizabethan drama in me can appreciate the double meaning here: ultimately, as we all are mortal, the Earth receives us back too. But along with this hard reminder (as hard as an unyielding wood floor) and also Elizabethan is the zest to live passionately and fully within the space we have, armed with the foreknowledge of our separate ends.

    Good poem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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