Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

The Memory Thief

by Elaine Holmes

Do you know that I am here for you?
Whenever you need me
I will be waiting,
Waiting to catch you
Before you slide
Through my fingers again.
Your old jumper
Torn at the elbow,
Garnished with yesterdays breakfast.
How slow your shuffle
As you move restlessly
From room to room
I smile at you
A gentle encouragement
My eyes bright with expectation.
You gaze at me
Or through me,
Do you recognize me at all?
Your paper thin beauty
Lingering, a cruel joke.
Your string of pearls clings to your collar bone,
A remnant of your ebbing dignity.
A parasitic thief tightens his grip on you,
Stealing our future, erasing our past
The doctors cant say,
Wont say
How far from me your journey will take you.
Waiting has become my new pastime.
The reward,
An occasional window of recognition
Im here for you always,
Frustrated by my own inability
To catch you, to offer comfort
As you slip, eel thin
Through your diminishing flesh and bones
Into a world I cannot enter.
A prison that contains your shell,
Your brilliance long since fled.

Added: 26.03.2011