Old Eyes MAG

June 14, 2015
By 5020newman BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
5020newman BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The woman was out
walking again.
Her arms and legs swayed
methodically as she traipsed down
her black, crackled asphalt driveway.
Her shoulders were set back as she
strolled aimlessly, looking up
at each home with scrutiny and
dark circled eyes.
As she rounded the corner,
her usual gray sweater flowed
behind her as her feet dragged slightly.
She gazed up at our home
with a silent face.
Her pursed lips,
frizzy white hair and
pupils moved faintly upwards,
apart from her eyebrows.
She noticed our home, as if
for the first time,
examining the brown and
beige facade. Slowly, almost
unnoticeably, she
moved from our home to the
next, and continued;
seeing the neighborhood
as it was, shuddered and silent
as the storm clouds rolled in
in new, yet old, eyes.
Finally, she reached
the end. She waited. 
She waited for her
memories to come back perhaps,
or maybe to remember
who she is or
where she is or
who anyone is.
She waited.
Even as it began to
sprinkle with misty, silver
raindrops she waited.
It wasn’t until someone pulled
up next to her in
a muddy white sedan that
she leaves.
Arms flailing, they pull her
into the car. 
A stranger’s car.
Maybe it was a son or
daughter, or a distant cousin
or relative who knew she had left her home,
yet her memory of them had left her
years ago. She stands up out of
the car silently as she walks,
almost as if in a trance,
to her door.
Her wiry fingers move cautiously
toward the knob, opening the door and
stepping into a dark, unfamiliar home.
I see her again the next day.

The author's comments:

I was inspired to write this poem based on a personal experience I had when I was a child. There was an old woman who lived next door to our family who had Alzheimers, and nearly everyday she would walk around our street similarly to how I described her and would wait at the end of the road, just standing there. Although I was probably only four or five at the time, and I only actually saw her a few times (the rest was explained to me later), this had a profound affect on me. I also realized the cruel treatment we sometimes give to Alzheimers victims that we may not realize, considering they live their lives in a state of constant confusion, which I tried to illustrate towards the end of the poem. 

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