When I met her
barely awake in her wheelchair —
she asked me: “What is the wind?”
I looked at her hands and noticed
how small they’ve become —
Once they were strong as her mind.
The wind is not in our silence,
it is not in my words. Is it a song
or a void? Is it her hair? —
dandelion fluffed as light as her breath,
a whiff as shallow as sand. I remember it
thicker and rich.
Is the wind a gasp of tomorrow,
a forecast of days when we talk about ash?
Is it absence or waiting?
The wind could be brisk
as the beating of drums or scent of decay
it can whispered at night
as blossoms carried on butterfly wings,
the wind can carry the rain.
The wind is a kiss and white-knuckled fist
the letter she tore before it was read.
She asked me again: “What is the wind?”
and I whispered: “It is what it is”.
This is written for Karin at toads who asks us to write of “what is…” with inspiration coming from Walt Whitman and parts of Leaves of Grass. My choice was to take the perspective of aging and dementia instead of that of a child.
Linking also to Open Link Night at dVerse where Grace is hosting.
June 14, 2018