The poetic city: A suite for Miss Helen


Performance garden, where music and plants play for all who listen. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

A Suite For Miss Helen      
Lately, whenever I arrive for my weekly visits
to the Memory Unit of the Chateau, 
Helen no longer looks up at me with 
the surprised delight I have come to count on…
Nor does she seem to take great pleasure
in the jazz that I bring with me. 
Last week I had to work hard 
for each glimmer of a smile 
that lasted but a second 
before the inevitable droop 
back into the darkness 
where she appears to reside…
Leaving me to wonder 
if my intrusions 
               disturb or brighten                 
the world she inhabits 
as she endures the waiting
for she knows not what….
This week 
I made up my mind 
not to work for smiles… 
Instead of carrying on 
with exaggerated gesture
to draw her into her favorite music, 
I sat with Helen in the garden,
quietly holding hands,
listening to her jazz,
and watching the birds come and go
And, when I was finally successful  
in convincing myself that
I didn’t have to do anything 
to make the time special for her,
I relaxed and became aware 
that the tickling sensation
in  the palm of my hand was Helen
keeping time with the beat 


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