'Twas the night before Christmas,
and my last visit before leaving for the holidays
found him sitting in semi-darkness, his wheelchair
facing neither the TV nor the door, where he might
at least caught some movement to stimulate
a brain rapidly grinding to a halt,
delivered to his room like a discarded grocery cart.
My one-sided conversation flickered briefly, and
burned out; leaving a lengthening silent darkness
at first, but which became a marvelous glow that
first the room, then all of Christmas for me.
At that moment, the Alzheimer’s seemed almost
a gift, as if once the words disappeared, our
spirits were released
from their imprisonment in thought, and all that
was pure, heightened presence. So we sat
another silent hour
together, quietly gazing, totally present, a gift
Not a creature was stirring.