Starbuck’s Lament by Jed Waverly
Sleeping soundly as the clatter of pans and
spirited voices create a din,
He is oblivious to the chaos around him,
embraced in the arms of Morpheus.
Protected from worldly concern and calamity,
he rests in the comfort of cushioned leather,
His hand tremor slow, not demanded for some human act
which meets the needs of others nearby.
His spouse, her tasks complete and her need to leave,
apparent in her rapid movement to stand,
Her frantic gathering of goods into a single duffle,
freeing her other arm to assist him.
He awakens to her nudge, but his mind and his eyes
rebel in obstinate opposition.
Finally acknowledging her frantic desire for departure,
he stands, frail and wavering,
the leather showing sign of urine.
But his body rebels against vertical ascent, wavering
like a slim birch against a firm gust.
Who was this once-dignified soul now diminished and spent,
this gentleman brought low by dementia’s harsh blow?
Is he gone, or does the tremor and confusion signal a challenge…
to live in the moment, refreshed by his nap, though brief?
Can his spouse share his momentary joy of the smell of brewed coffee,
and the brief scent of seasonal cinnamon?
Or is her pain too great…so overwhelming and broken
that his challenge has been lost?
Jed Waverly is a writer who has great appreciation for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.