"The Long and Winding Road"

Shifting Sands

Hugh MacDonald

Sunshine drive
brief escape
from the tiny room
she shares
with Edna
and a shard
of memory
shakes loose
"I want to go home," she says.
All right I answer
"to my apartment,"
the space she left
two cruel years ago.
Yesterday no memory
of that apartment
or any of the houses
and rooms
she knew before it.
I explain
someone else lives there now
your things are gone
to your children
or put in storage
(just in case)
I drive to the Sacred Heart Home
and she won't go in
"That's where they put old people," she says
"Please take me home!"
I coax and coax
her to come inside
I don't know what else to say to her
this woman whose freedom
I helped the doctor sign away
You don't have to say
if you don't want to
I promise
but don't know what I'll do
if she says no.
We take the elevator
to her room on the fifth floor
she looks inside, confused
Do you recognize it?
she nods, drops her gloves on her bed
and sits
"I don't understand
how they put it up here," she says.

Copyright © 1996 Hugh MacDonald
Used with permisson of the author.
From Looking for Mother, by Hugh MacDonald.
Windsor, Ontario, Canada: Black Moss Press, 1995.
(Dist. by Firefly Books, Ltd. Sparks Ave., Willowdale, Ontario M2H2S4
ISBN 0-88753-259-4 ISBN 0-88753-255-1 $14.95)
Email Hugh at hughmac@cycor.ca
Hugh's Home Address:
Hollow Pine Cottage, Robertson Road,
Montague RR#5 PEI Canada, C0A 1R0.

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