My brain, see, now has to consciously
tell my feet to move.
I mean, he tries a laugh, your brain
always tells your feet to move
on some level, but now
I have to remind them how.
I do see what he means soon enough, as
my father, the opener of all
that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all that needs to be kept safe, targets
a key towards a door as
one might aim a dart, his forearm moving
back and forth as if to throw it,
though he pushes now–
here–here–trying spots about the knob
as one might poke
a needle into the fabric backing a button, pricking
one’s way to its eyes, or as one
might thread the eye
of the needle itself, poignantly.
But the disease progresses, as territorial
as Genghis Khan, and soon all
the buttons in his world are blocked, refuse
to be battened, will not even
be pushed down, until finally, his own eyes
seem locked behind the placket
of stiff lids.
I see the strain of forehead, the
conscious manipulation of muscle, nerve,
above struggling chest, until at last
the mottled blue of his pupils targets
our own. I love you, he whispers, the opener
of all that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all things safe.
I wrote the above for dVerse Poets Pub‘s Poetics prompt of “buttons,” hosted today by the indefatigably kind and creative Brian Miller, but I am also linking up with Real Toads for their Open Link Monday.
Secondly, a big apology to my father in absentia – I am not sure what that drawing is supposed to be- it looks nothing at all like my father, or even really like a man, or a button come to think of it. But I was at the hairdresser today in honor of Nora Ephron, and that’s the drawing I made, thinking of Brian’s prompt.
Do check out the wonderful poets at dVerse and Real Toads, if you have the time, and also check out my books! Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms. Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.