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Progression

Seven years ago,
you sat at the dinner table-
square and beige and infuriatingly tranquil-
and your toes in gray socks
reached out to caress hers
“Now, dear!” she said quietly
with a tittering laugh
and a bemused look,
as she pulled her foot away gently
She was not the type to play footsie under the table
and neither were you
That kind of parity
was what fostered in the two of you
not love, but whatever came before it.
That was shattered as she recoiled at your touch
You were not the type to play footsie under the table
but you ached to be close to her again

Four years ago,
you walked into a white building
with large, empty rooms that seemed to
suffocate you with claustrophobia
She was whispering to you
your name, her name, what year it was
and snippets of your life that garnered feeble recognition
You sat alone in terrifying confusion
as an unfamiliar woman asked you- painfully slowly, infuriatingly calmly-
the questions whose answers had just been
breathed into your ear
If only they weren't swimming so quickly,
so hazily behind your forehead
The woman stood up and walked outside
From the room you heard her say things like
“Advanced stages” and “nursing home” and “nothing left”
You were too tired to work out what they meant.

Last week,
and the week before,
you paced up and down mind-numbing, ivory hallways
Permanently speechless,
but void of awe
Void of everything
She brought you your Christmas stocking and
you held her hand
It made her want to sob and scream and beg you
to look at her face and know her,
but you could not
so she alone held the infuriating and heartbreaking and earth-shattering burden
of knowing
She walked next to you in silence for hours,
holding your hand
She ached to be close to you again.




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