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1st Poem

This spring (2016) I took a poetry class to add to my set of tools. This is the second version of the first poem we had to do.

The photograph is of my grandparents, my cousin Cheri and me on the day of my baptism. My grandparents lived with us starting during my high school years. Grandma's health was deteriorating. My grandfather had dementia, though not of the Alzheimers variety.

It’s a Choice

My mother taught me

we have a choice.

And my grandparents,

one dying, one confused

came to live at our house.

400 long empty miles she wondered/wandered

what she would do if

Grandma died along the way,

no town, no people, no help

She knew she had a choice

to hug her to health or leave her to die.

We learned

that Grandpa kept the milk

in the oven

and everything else was held together with

rubber bands

and that we had a choice to laugh or cry

(I still struggle with rubber bands)

We woke to the smallest sound, Grandpa

out the door

two in the morning, no one around

racing down the street to bring him home

pajamas and bare feet on cold concrete

It is a choice to live or die inside

A generation later, the call that my father had died

and as my mother had taught me

I had a choice

To move

To hug

To laugh

To live

To Love

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