This poem was sent to us by Pathwise member, Wylde Grace. We can’t thank her enough for sharing this beautiful, touching, personal, heartfelt poem, and it’s our honor to share it with all of you.

 

For Lynne who dances most gracefully

With love from WyldeGrace

 

The yard is messy

Last year’s lettuce gone to seed

Planters once full of kale and chard

Now grow dirt

A few weeds wave in the wind

 

You arrive late

In a cornflower sundress

Tanned and Toned from beach combing

The dog is jumping and barking for love

Jinx paws at the door

Our eyes hug

And I blink back a tear

Hard swallow and a long hug hides the grief

 

On the phone I listened hard for clues

Your voice softer, less assured

Deferring facts to other minds

You sounded so far away

 

But in person you shimmer and shine

Maybe not as boldly, but I recognize you

Bright pleading eyes inquire

“Do I seem like I’ve lost it to you?”

And that I cannot affirm

Yet I do feel I have lost a bit of you

 

Warm saltwater fills my pools

I feel shy, like a first date

Immensely curious, so many questions

I won’t ask

Out of respect

Out of fear

 

Later, at the party

You sip Rosé quietly

Whilst others entertain and witticize

You chime in, here and there

Measured, but on point

What are words to the slipstream?

 

There is an elephant dancing in the room

In pink slippers and a fluffy tutu

But we

We talk of teenagers, graduations

Cars and vacations

Laughter erupts regularly

There is a poignancy, unstated

Felt by all

We pray the cocktail helps as we sip fine wine

 

I lean in and grab your hand

Wonder how this night will end

Reminiscing, I meld into the feeling tone

So many bright minds gathered warmly together

As we have since we were just starting out

Before: innocent, fresh and ready

Now, standing tall in our prime

Nothing in our way

 

A limit, an idea, a diagnosis

Tethers our dreams, pulls them down

How do you plan for a disintegrating planet?

What hopes can we safely hold

When our own globe falls off its course?

 

You wonder amidst all this

“Am I keeping up? Am I still tracking?

Do I have anything relevant to share?

Am I making sense?”

All the while watching and managing

Trying hard to not get lost

 

Like those drawers you labeled by the front door:

One for KEYS

One for WALLET

One for PHONE, etc

 

I watch as you double, triple check

And then once more, that you’ve got what you need

In the car you suddenly doubt yourself

“Wait, did I forget my phone?!”

Digging worriedly through your purse until you find it

Right where you put it before

That happens to me all the time

 

We are sharing stories in our fast

Expansive, make up for lost time pace

Some starts don’t get finished

Some are left on the edge

Abandoned for a more urgent, connected thought

In the middle of a major story

I totally lose my way and have to abandon the cause

I carp, ‘see, and I have no medical excuse’

We smile at the inside joke

 

Have you changed?

You do feel different to me, but very familiar

Like the twin sister of a dear friend I once knew

You seem smaller, more fragile

Tentative and focused

Like you’re trying really hard

To not let anyone notice

That you are walking on

Pins and Needles

 

For the first time, I feel fear

It’s a palpable transference

But at the same time-

Your force of life

Fierce independence

Strength of being-

They are here too.

 

I am grieving the loss of you

All our tapes will play to their ends

But yours has been sped up

By a dirty random trick of DNA

Playing at 48 instead of 33

It’s not fair

Maybe it’s not even real

 

But we hope the cocktail is working

I am jealous now of lost time in the future

We had plans to play together in our old age

Assumed the normal bodily break down:

Stiff hips, sagging skin, fading sight and sound

But our minds, they would intertwine us

Entertain us to the end

 

I will forget this future

And live for what is now

Already passed beyond minds grasp

I am left with you filling my heart

Sad

Warm

Weepy

Held and Holding

Strong this Bond

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