Touch: The Journal of Healing


The Fog

    by Nancy Calhoun

You’ve tried to tell me how it is for you, my love, this fog

you say has folded round your agile brain, and I try to imagine

how it might feel to struggle to retrieve a simple memory.

That day in San Francisco when fog obscured

the most familiar landmarks as though they never were,

everything remained the same as in the sun

but near invisible, and I had to conjure the reality,

my mind retrieving the last known vision of the bridge,

the tower, the bay, all still there but gone. 

Do you remember our camping trips in the desert,

the night we shed our sleeping bags to lie under the stars

and didn’t sleep, afraid we’d miss the constellations’ paths?

Can you still recall the night in Iceberg Canyon

when Luciano filled the dark with high C’s

that bounced from canyon wall to canyon wall?

Yesterday you told me that when you woke

you could not remember my name for a moment

and I was terrified that what has lurked in shadows

has now begun to skulk into the light,

to steal our careful equilibrium, carry away what is left

of our loving connection on dusty moth-wings.

What shall I do while we wait – shall I search

in dark corners and behind doors and brandish a stick

or a broom, perhaps fight a duel with the damned fog?

Or shall we squeeze life and truth from every moment,

saving grief for later, always later, but not now?

I will never be ready to remember alone.

© 2009 Nancy Calhoun

* Previously published in Sip Wine, Drink Stars

Nancy Calhoun has come to poetry late in life.  She lives in Arizona with her husband, an Alzheimer's patient, and finds healing for them both in the beautiful mountain environment. Her book, Sip Wine, Drink Stars, was published in 2009.


Copyright © 2010

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.