A stumble and a question -
A confused look in faded blue eyes.
With each breath, with every minute,
A living cell flickers and dies.
Like leaves once green upon a tree
That lose their colour so easily,
And decay into burning, seething red
Then fade to orange, amber – dead.
A smile that lingers but knows not why,
And a shuffle down the hall.
The muddled grasping of wearied fingers
That try to cling to it all.
But for those leaves it takes but one damp breeze,
For them to unsettle, tremble and release with ease;
And they flutter down on a staccato breath,
Peacefully broken, even in death.
The brightened cheeks of weathered skin
And a spark that sometimes stays.
These are the occasions we tearfully treasure –
These gentle glory days.
In misted grey the rain comes around
And sticks the leaves to the surrounding ground;
They rot amongst roots, fester and decay –
Lingering in a damp, miserable delay.
A tear glistens, too scared to speak,
As the music fades silently out.
Soaking the pictures in saltwater,
Sinking shadows and drowning doubt.
And then the wind came to loosen the leaves,
To carry them out on the strength of a breeze.
Sweeping down the street, they scatter and die,
Rot further away or find someplace to lie.
They leave the tree bare, those once green leaves,
Snatched and taken, but not the victims of thieves.
A fact of nature, the doctor says,
But I see no relics now of those glory days.
The tree is withered, its branches bare:
I see no summer or life signs there.
The memories are lost and scattered like leaves,
But soulless, the victim still wearily breathes.
Well you don't die of it; you die with it they say,
Once summer's gone and the leaves have blown away.
A tear for every memory, every thought displaced,
For the songs forgotten and life we waste.
I wrote the base of this a long time ago, shortly after a family friend who had suffered from Alzheimer's died, but I didn't post it. I found it again the other day and rewrote it, added and changed some bits until I was happier with it. I'd love to know what you think.