When I get Older, Losing my hair…

Morning: Father’s Day 2017

I want my life back.
The one I had before the painful jerks and cloudy mind.

I look for it in the finger staining pages
of the morning paper, but lose the story
In a smile of pushing our new silly putty onto Annie’s Face
Me, and my sister
But then the pages shake my hands from peaceful reverie into realization
I do not recognize the faces even in the funnies
Except Blondie.
I read it twice.

I want my life back
when mind didn’t shake like my leg
and when clear moments weren’t riddled with holes of knowledge
and the truth of another cloud to come
which I will meet as unprepared and unexpected as the annual monsoon

I want my life back when I held babies
Cooing and comforting as I changed the evidence of functioning bodies
Teaching parents that even the tiny and very sick love to hear music, even badly sung
And that touch
And connections help,

not break us.
I want my life back
As I struggle to pull on my padded “like hell it looks normal” panties
From the package with the tennis playing model smiling back at me.
Looking forward to seeing my small grandchildren, who still run smiling to hug me
To young to be frightened of my reek of vulnerable mortality.

I want my life back, I scream inside my head,
with each, “Oh I’m fine.”   Because only the patient few will play the verbal charades I now call conversation.

Is this my life.
This old woman with dull, tired eyes staring back from my mirror? This person who must check my daily grooming list so I may hide the shredding concentration

delay the time that others control
Even this.

My eyes flick left to the picture of my Ethel to my Lucy.
As a FaceBook prompt tells me I have a message.
I keep my lists on my phone
I forget too often
Knowing full well it is time to stop pretending and print them
And post them on the wall.

I stop,
Relax onto the toilet
Letting the cane lean on the wall
As I look at posts of men, my sons and friends, smiling and holding the hands of the future.

I have my life.

Even this,
This is my life.
And I will live it
And sing it
And breathe it
And celebrate it
Even as I am pixilated out to the final credits.

J.M. de Biasi aka Crowfae

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