She sleeps and I sit by,
Unwilling, yet, to leave.
For, now and then, she stirs to see me.

The fear goes with the illness.
Anything becomes an object
She must shun or hide from.

Waiting for the light to come,
Again, is endless night.
With all her might, she hopes
For some familiar face, time, or place.

It is easier to leave when I hear
The rhythmic breathing begin;
Controlled by involuntary impulses.

Bright blue eyes will search,
Again, tomorrow.
They will find Me.

Will my face still be familiar,
Or will the thief I fear
Steal my memory, also?

Reduced to ashes and empty stare,
She waits by the door.

Some ask, "Why?"
Why do I come each day to see?
Because, I am me.

Because, I want to see
Traces of the smile I knew
And sweet relief from the misery
Of losing every single precious memory ...

The loving ways, the happy days;
When speech was easy,
Recollection keen!

The easy breathing comes.
Go, now. Take up time’s hands
Until the light comes.

 Joan Clifton Costner
Copyrighted. All rights reserved.

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