April 11, 2017

I Meant to do the Talking, but She Interrupted. {Poem}

Someone I love has dementia. Sometimes, I look at them and I see that in a way, the brain is a whole lot like a turntable. We’re each walking along in life playing our own vinyl, and occasionally the needle gets stuck.

The song of our lives can so easily get stuck on repeat.

And I don’t just mean in the case of those who live with dementia.

A few weeks ago, a phrase became stuck in my mind as if my needle was stuck in its groove. It played over and over again. I was on repeat. That is until I sat down and I wrote what it was that was missing. I wrote the lyrics to the music on my vinyl that day because really, isn’t that what poetry is?

Poetry is writing in motion. It is the lyrical, dancing, contours that we write to match the vinyl in our mental turntables. This poem was music before it was words. I merely reset the needle.


I am returned from a conversation,
with my heart.
It is battered and bruised,
scarred over with good intentions.
The beat goes on, rhythmic, knowing—
It fills in sound,
the silence.


I am returned from a conversation.
I meant to do the talking,
but she interrupted.
It seems she had been waiting—
her smile beckoned.
Beats beat on as she welcomed me.
Each a letter of an
alphabet only I can hear.
She reached her hand toward mine.
I asked her what she longed for—
in all the world, what did she most desire?
Sadness touched
her smile,
as she shook her head.
She took my hand in her hand,
and said:
I am love.


I am returned from a conversation,
with my heart.
Though scarred and battle-worn,
she longs for nothing,
she is what she seeks.
She is love,
and so, too, am I.

Author: Molly Murphy
Image: Samantha Jade Royds/Flickr

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