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when i love them

Old men drink bourbon on stools at the bar across from the
Homeless shelter and two blocks down there’s a nursing home
That I pointed out to my dad once joking
I would send him there when he got too old to feed himself
And to wash himself and when he couldn’t remember my name.
I told him and he laughed and we kept driving down the street.
And the next day passed and so did weeks
And I know one day he’ll lay on those freshly watched linen sheets
Where human beings that have lived for years go back to infanthood
And can’t remember how to flush a toilet or use an elevator or
Walk down a flight of stairs.
I’m scared for them,
I’m scared that they can’t remember how to live the way they did when
They could laugh and smile and tell someone they loved them.
They loved them.
And now they wear diapers like their grandchildren
And spit up food like the babies in the hospital.
It’s full circle and their wrinkles are timelines going to waste.
Their wrinkles are timelines marking the end of the chase,
The moments that were just another second to erase.

In 10 years my dad will be sixty
And I will be 28 and I will have a
Family or I will be dead,
Life has no promises but I hope I am alive
So I can see my own kids climb for the first time up
Ladders at the playground and watch them learn to fly on
The swings and I will watch them grow until they, too
Make jokes of where to put me when I grow too old to remember,
Or perhaps too old to care,
How to brush my own hair or write my own name.
I’ll write it a thousand times tonight to make up for the times
I won’t be able.
I’ll brush my hair and brush my teeth and not forget to take for granted
All the things my mind controls and I won’t forget to tell
Someone I love them.
When I love them.
When I love them,
You.
When
I love you.





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