Disappearance.1

image source:Bing images

image source:Bing images

We heard today
our friend went
into hospital.

Bed sores,
disoriented,
blood sugar out of whack,
anemic.

They noticed,
I guess.  Anyway
they called an ambulance.

I remember her
at the piano,
smiling her toothless grin.

The piano was silent
a Sunday
or two while she
won in a bowling league.

Nice retirement,
if you can get it.
Especially for one
in her mid-sixties.

Young, right?
Why, these days,
90 is the dying age.
There’s a whole
new world after
work’s decades.

Her knees said no.
The pain took over.
Her hands rebelled
with the extra effort.
The pain grinned
and dug in.

She disappeared
little by little.
Gone this day,
gone that weekend,
gone for a month,
gone over a year, now.

Comfy in her chair
and in bed, she said
via the phone.
We never see her
anymore.

Isn’t there hope?
What about knee
replacements?
Steroid shots?
New procedures?
Laser surgery?

I ask into the void
of cafeteria
medicine.

Is there no hope?
Why, 70 is
young. Right?

I know others
her age and
older,
still productive,
still active,
still interested,
still moving,
still excited.
Not disappearing.

Why, she’s just
a few years older
than me.

Is there no hope?
Bedsores and
disorientation,
why, these are
for the elderly
infirm,
for the terminally
ill,
for the disappearing.

Disappearance
looms like a black
cloud,
threatening
to maim.

Give in,
it whispers.
Let go,
it breathes.
Accept,
it calls.

My fury rises.
Is there no one
who will fight for
her life,
her independence,
her purpose,
her productivity?
Does no one care?

I look at my
elderly Mother,
older than my friend by
maybe fifteen years.
Mother knows pain.
Mother has to fight
to win;
Mother has to
determine to
make everyday
count.
Mother has to
push through.

To think of Mother
disoriented,
with bed sores,
blood sugar out of whack,
I see red.
My ears steam.
My ire rises.
No disappearing
on my watch!

Who fights for
my friend?
Do her daughter
and granddaughters
see her elderly
and infirm?
Do they think
her productivity
is past?
Do they
recognize the
disappearance?

I’ve asked.
I’ve called,
I’ve pushed,
I’ve prodded,
I’ve tried.
I can’t force
her choices.
I’m not family.

I’m sad.
Perhaps it’s time
to accept
my friend
is embracing
disappearance.