Poetry Friday: Words Won’t Come Easily

Finding time to write in the last two weeks has been difficult. And, when time is found, the words just do not seem to come. This is unusual for me and it is not writer’s block. It is because I have been helping to handle a family crisis. My mom has been in the hospital for almost two weeks – with nine days of that time in ICU. I no longer live near my parents, but rather 900 miles away. Still, I’ve been here for her entire illness. It’s been a busy and often uncomfortable time, filled with difficult conversations and decision making. It certainly feels like riding a roller coaster of emotions, with the highs of successes and triumphs and the lows of set-backs or realizations.

It’s not that the words are not there. It’s that my head is spinning with other thoughts. Thoughts of the past, present and future all swirl together as I consider what is right for my Dad as well as my Mom, in planning her care.

And, then you have the issue that “writing” is not a “regular job.” If I had an office and a title, with other responsibilities, I might have a little more strength and assertiveness to say, “I have to go write now. It’s your turn to take Dad to the hospital.” Instead, I push aside my own needs and answer to the needs of those around me. I am not resentful but instead, wistful about this reality. I know my time to write will return.

For now, I am just trying to keep up my postings and complete a commitment I made to turn in some poems for review by next week. I have not yet attempted to write those poems. I hope the inspiration to do so will come soon. I already missed a webinar by our esteemed host this week on Writing for Hire. Alas, I was on the phone with my mom’s social worker at the time the webinar was scheduled. Some things (family) take precedence. Luckily, the webinar was recorded and I’ll be able to view it as soon as I have a clearer head.

Therefore, my offerings for Poetry Friday this week are slim. There are two poems that I started and they are drafts regarding being with my parents during my mom’s hospitalization. I’m trying to capture those feelings that are universally relatable for any in similar situations with aging parents. Both poems are just the start of some drafts. As I wrote, the words are not coming easily right now.

Wandering

I wander the halls looking for you,

Wondering which door you went through.

And, to where this door will lead?

The door you chose to enter with speed.

A fortnight of time spent with you now,

Replaces lost visits, because now we know how.

To talk and to laugh, although it’s not all funny,

The memories we share remain more valuable than money.

I care for you now, like you cared for me then.

A mother and child, reversing roles, Amen.

© Unfinished Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2021

Our Elder

Getting older,

I’ve learned to appreciate our elder.

Patience for a task complete,

Gives joy to both without conceit.

Who knew a spoon would be so hard to yield?

To find one’s mouth seems a huge task to field.

© Unfinished Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2021

Today is Poetry Friday. Our wonderful host is Laura Purdie Salas from Small Reads for Brighter Days. Please check out Laura’s website and blog as she offers a great day of resources for teachers! Thank you for hosting Laura.

As a final note, I am delinquent on returning comments to fellow readers/commenters on my blog due to the family health crisis that I’ve written about and experienced over the last two weeks. I apologize! I value each and every comment I receive and promise that I will return comments as soon as I am able. Thank you for your understanding!

8 thoughts

  1. Carol, I’m so sorry for this health crisis in your family, and thank you for being willing to share drafts when you’re in such a vulnerable time. Those doorways really got me, as well as finding your mouth…With my 87-year-old dad, the conversations just get more difficult in so many ways. Give yourself grace as you try to be there for your mom and whole family.

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    1. Thank you, Laura. I am finding it both reassuring and sad that many people, such as yourself, can relate to my poems on this subject. My mom is 84 and dad is 85. It is difficult, as you said, in many ways. Thanks for your kind words of support. (I finally watched the WFH webinar and WOW! Thank you so much for such great information! I’m going to give it a go as I think it would be a great fit for me – started looked at catalogs and websites for those that would be a good fit for an intro packet. Thank you so much for sharing all this detailed information! )

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  2. I, like Laura, am sorry to read about your family’s crisis, Carol. I understand & want you to know that I’ve been there, so far away from my mom & many phone calls with my brother, making decisions. Your poems take those feelings beautifully; especially the second one that touched me with ‘who knew a spoon’. Hugs to you during this tough time.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. As I wrote to Laura, I find it both sad and comforting that so many can relate to my poems on being with aging parents. I appreciate your kind words. I am thankful that I’ve been able to continue to write during this time. Thank you for the hugs, too!

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  3. I think your poems have captured that disjointed feeling of having a loved one in the hospital – the uncertainty that you live with each day. Sending you and your mom, and your entire family, good wishes and good health.

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  4. Carol, since I did not read this post and skipped to Slice of Life, I did not realize that your mother was ill. This line touches my heart: “A mother and child, reversing roles, Amen.” I can feel the weight of this line for I have been there before. May your time with your mother fill you with the joy of caregiving at such a critical time. Thoughts and prayers for peace for your family/

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