What I fear most
is a lack of collaboration
mind, body,
spirit, if it exists,
bowing out at different times
Dad did it right
sang to me
the day before he died
mind still clear
walked and talked
and only lay down
to give us a heads up
it was time to say
so long
I fear being unable to
walk or talk
when my mind is sharp
unable to say,
I love you
Take care of each other
Feed the dog
Think I’ll die now
Or worse
fogged forgetfulness
to grieve my missing mind
not knowing if the person who says
“I love you, Mom,” is really my child
or an imposter
To strike out in anger and frustration
at visitors who don’t want to be there
or the caregiver who changes my diaper
I fear wanting to die and being kept alive
I fear lingering until friends and family
hate themselves for contemplating murder
I fear there will be no compassionate partner
to pull the plug
What I fear most
is a lack of collaboration.
Barbara Huntington is a gray-haired hippie and a zoology major, who has been a civil rights worker, a teacher, owner of an Apple computer software mail-order house that went under in the 80’s, a technical writer, and finally retired after 20 years as a premedical advisor. After losing her husband to Parkinson’s and her mother to Alzheimer’s, she now travels with her dog, Tashi, and attempts to write poetry and make sense of the world.

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