Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Poem by Peter Cooley

It is now three years since my Aunt Dotty died in the nursing home. She suffered a long time with Alzheimer's disease. A woman once so full of life unable to have a simple conversation. She did recognize me most of the time, or at least I was a familiar face. Whether I was her brother, or her nephew - it didn't matter. I know she loved me. And I loved her.

As I was surfing the net, reading through some poetry, I came upon this poem by Peter Cooley. The poem really moved me. It is a simple love poem - but love is never simple.

Sunday Afternoons With My Sister

“If someone asks about me, say I died.
I hate you coming, I hate this nursing home.”
My sister never like me but I tried.

“Why do you bother? You see, I know you lied
to get me in here,” the voice reverberates, a drone.
“If someone asks about me, say I died.”

Attached to oxygen, she cannot rise
this year or last to stroll about her room.
My sister never liked me but I tried.

“I want my job back. Admit you’re on their side,
the men who got me fired. In fact, you’re the one.
If someone asks about me, say I died.

“And Mommy and Daddy, now they’re blind.
Well, I’m almost, I hope you’ll be soon.”
My sister never like me but I tried.

I ask about her meals, the nurses, bide
the minutes till these last words each afternoon:
“When someone asks about you, I say he died.”
My sister never loved me but I tried.

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