the Belgian lady


She’s wrapped in Belgian soft skin

hair as white as carnations at a funeral

Memories of all of us trapped inside her,

twisted ever so slightly

by cruel fingers of dementia


And sometimes I forget what her voice sounds like

so I close my eyes and I can

feel her warm decaf breath as she

whispers in my ear

“this is for the birds…

oh for Pete’s sake….

go warm my bed for me Sarah-kins…”


I can hear her torment, genuine and aching – 

the sadness and confusion stitched delicately

into every word as

she repeats

“Every day I ask the good lord why I’m still here…”


Her words have never left me – 

they fill me like the sweetness of

her apple pies filling

the kitchen, the aroma

knitting together generations …


and often times when I feel my own body

creaking just a little more than it

did before, when I feel

heartache and sadness twisted by cruel fingers of

love lost or unrequited,


I hear her whisper with her

Belgian soft voice

“oh for Pete’s sake…

this is for the birds….

sshhh, let’s just have some pie…”


© 2017 Erin Hoffman – all rights reserved

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