Pauline’s Dream Revised

Back in August, 2014, I wrote a poem called Pauline’s Dream. You can read it HERE.

For the Day 5 poetry challenge of Fog/Elegy/Metaphor, I chose to rewrite this poem and the words, but tell the same story. For those of you who are not regular readers, my mom is 95 and suffers from the effects of dementia. When Ben suggested fog as a mental state, this was a natural response.

This is the place of my dreams, but it is not

I do not want to be here, in the fog

I cannot see through the grayish cold mist that clouds my vision

The opaque screen hides clarity

My memories are of mother, father, twelve siblings

And the family home by the tracks

Gathering earth on my shoes as I walk through the garden

Watching mother tend to the beans

Inside, the smell of red grapes emanates in an oakish tint from the basement

The odor of dinner drifts gently

My brothers and sisters claim their favorite places

Are you here, sister Jean?

That is where dreams and reality divide and confuse thoughts

How did I become lost in the cold goose gray?

I want to remember today, but the pea soup makes the spoon stand straight

And I remember only 80 years past

Did you know that my brother pee’d down the snowbank

And my sister sold the house?

I don’t want to be in this haze and forget that I bore Mary

She is daughter, not sister

I want to remember the blue eyes of the skin and bones I called husband

And how long he’s been gone

I want to remember those who visit…Teresa and Paula and Judy

Instead of the atrocities of super glue

But here I am, in the clear murkiness of 15 humans and their home

At times, I don’t remember their names

I ask sister…no, daughter Mary to write them down on paper

So I can confirm their existence as true

I search for my family, in my dreams, and when I wake

I find them

Mother, father, siblings refuse the silent stare of the enveloping fog

And my sister Mary is here

24 responses to Pauline’s Dream Revised

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom is good at throwing punches every now and then, but I have found a way to not let it bother me. Go with the flow, so to speak, and simply enjoy her company.

  1. Sam Rappaz says:

    Beautiful and so moving. I loved this line: “Instead of the atrocities of super glue”. There is so much depth of meaning in there.
    I send you and your family my best.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you Sam. Mom called me up one evening and wanted to know if I bought super glue. She was concerned about my safety because she remembered this news story of a man who was super glued to a toilet seat. Mom surprises me on occasion with these news flashes. That one, especially, made me smile.

  2. Gary Dean Holdaway says:

    This is so beautiful and moving. Dementia is a tough illness- not only on those affected directly but on the families of those people. Thank you for sharing this story.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you Gary. Acceptance makes it a little easier for me, but I’m still working on always trying to correct her. It only serves to frustrate!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Be happy for mom and I. She may forget I’m her daughter, but we are still spending time together…alive and breathing!

  3. jennis5309 says:

    I am overwhelmed by the melancholic beauty in this! “I want to remember the blue eyes of the skin and bones I called husband” gave my chills, and I think “But here I am, in the clear murkiness of 15 humans and their home” is going to stick in my head for the rest of the day. A wonderful piece!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you so much. For whatever reason, writing about mom seems to always flow easily. Plus, poetry class has given me a needed push to think outside the box.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It is, but be happy for mom. She has lived a very long life. Every time I go to see her, I fully expect her to think I’m her sister. One of these days, I’m going to agree and let her keep telling stories.

  4. Dan Antion says:

    This is a beautiful poem. It’s a sad story but one that many are familiar with. The last line is hard to read. I have been through that. Nicely done Mary.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Dan. I wish I could give back mom’s mind and her sight and her hearing. It’s a tough world for her, so I’m glad she has happy memories of growing up with family.

  5. Your mother and you … I wonder how many mothers could be supported by a daughter like you, M-J; and I know that the world would be a much better place were there more.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I humbly take in your wonderful compliment. I have a friend that is doing the same for her mother and Natasha did all that she could for her dad before he passed away. There are many like us…untold stories!

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