Last Visit

It has been a decade since we last held hands.
Music filled the room,
You danced the Twist,
We laughed and took pictures.

I am different now,
More gray hairs, like yours.
You don't have to recognize me.
Would I even recognize myself?

There were so many times I picked up the phone to call.
Letters I started and never sent.
None of it matters now,
Here in the twilight.

I didn't call enough,
I didn't write enough,
I didn't visit enough,
But I never forgot.

I never forgot.

Things aren't what they were,
Gaps in your memory you try to hide.
I don't bother correcting:
The details hardly matter anyway.

There is so much I want to tell you,
Too many words, too many false starts:
I simplify ruthlessly.
Audible telegrams compressed into a single breath.

Your personality still shines through:
You use the same phrases and idioms you always have.
Well-worn pathways in your mind,
You travel even when you're lost.

Recognition flashes swiftly across your face,
Clarity mixed with fear.
We make eye contact and you see me.

This may be my final chance before the end
To share what is in my heart:
Closely-held memories,
An ocean of emotions,


I want to give you so much love,
Words failing at my lips.
I try to say everything with a look.
Our eyes dampen in the silence.

I glance away to hide the tears threatening to escape.

When I turn back, the moment is gone;

I only hope

It was enough.

In memory of Patricia Anne Jacob
April 26, 1930–November 14, 2019

Michael with Nana