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On Visiting Lois

Her tea cup is alone
on the library table.
She gazes far away.

Born to missionaries,
she traveled the world,
a girl dipped in many cultures.
She rode a motorcycle
to her honeymoon.

Devout teacher,
Roxy and Rosie
were the cats she kept
until they wore out.

She holds a small stuffed dog,
pets the white ears
with red fingernails.
She touches her watch,
calls it a wockle,
says, “Mother was true to us,
gave us some character to gift along.”

Opening the large, heavy book,
she is pulled into Monet’s lilies,
Van Gogh’s vivacious sky.
Her sentence trails off.
One finger traces clouds and horizon lines
as if to complete her thought.

Her night blurs to day and back,
memories, shadows, dreams.
Spirit invents new words
needed to speak oneself.

When I rise to leave,
she takes my hand.
Her eyes light beautifully,
her mouth forms
a silent goodbye.


©2017 by John Ziegler