I wrote this poem based on a writing prompt where we were told to write a poem in the style of dramatic monologue (from the perspective of another person). (My father).
I don’t tremble
they assume I’m Katherine Hepburn’s kind
but she and I will always have our Parkinson’s mask of frozen stares.
My shuffling gait halts yet
refuses my wife and caregiver relief
as my mental executor and committee of limbs do not comply.
Falling stiff again
my rib bones crack against unyielding familiar floors.
ER rooms, weigh stations for next stops
decided for me from nodding white coats,
sad, loving eyes agree
my vote was cancelled when I decided
getting up was more than staying down.
Repair at convalescent care rotting with residents
who babble configured memories to crowd-filled nothing,
waving thin purple maps of loose skin, angry at invisible ghosts.
We cannot be friends
their language of fantasia doesn’t translate mine
Yellow dim rooms illuminate green jello while
rooms of televisions never die.
Forgetting rules of motion I shuffle to the bathroom,
bed bell alarms can’t keep me down,
my distant self commands obedience to dignity.
I am polite, complicit, a gentleman pleasing nurses with easier work
but for one who cursed me out loud.
Will and motion are mine until the antiseptic smiles fade,
so I rest for you, for now.