Saturday, August 25, 2007

Falling 2

I didn't see her fall
A sound to my left
Thud and bounce of body
There was no cry, no shout alarmed
Only thud and bounce of body
on beam and walls and steps and floor

Well-travelled steps
to laundry and family-room
Each day we climb a hundred times
Well-travelled steps
No cry, no shout alarmed
A body lying on her face

The path we all travel someday
loomed suddenly in front of me
I saw the road we follow unwillingly, unwittingly
beside her body, face-down, unmoving

"What day is it?" "I don't know"
"Do you know what year it is?" "No"
In light from common-place questions
the road not yet travelled fades
No stroke, no broken bones (what miracle!)
Bruised and concussed
she heals and walks and sits and lies
with me still

I take well-travelled steps
down and up
a hundred times

As often my hand reaches out
Touches the beam that struck her head
Relives the thud and bounce of body

In mind's eye I see replayed
The fall I never saw
A silent loop of film, no cry of alarm
Fall into the road not yet travelled

Daryl Climenhaga
25 August 2007

Postscript: The prose version appears in the post before this one.


KGMom said...

Such a difficult subject, and a scary time for you and Lois.
Poetry is a cathartic experience, both the writing and the reading of it. Hope Lois' body has healed, and that your mind recovers too--since you experienced the scare, while Lois experienced the pain.

Climenheise said...

It's a curious thing, since writing the poem I have not had the same sensation, hearing the sound of body falling against walls and down the steps. I remember the event as clearly, but it seems that writing it out really was cathartic.

Part of what I was trying for in the verse was not to say: That was scary, or I was scared, or any such statements of what I felt; rather to describe in such a way as to evoke, or to be, that sensation. The image of the road not yet travelled, and the image of a loop of film replaying over and over, were my attempt. The word "suddenly" feels false. It was true, but "looming" is already an overused word, and adding "suddenly" reverts to telling rather than showing or being. But I couldn't find the way around that phrse, so I left it. In the end I think that the words encapsule a moment at least adequately.

Denise said...

How is Lois doing by now?

Climenheise said...

She is really doing well. A bit tired sometimes, but not much more than usual. Today she flew down to Ohio to visit her mother. A couple of weeks ago flying would have been out of the question!

Of course, now she has a ready-made excuse when she forgets something, or feels a bit irritable, or whatever. "Must be the concussion." "Just a concussion moment." Oh well!

Beverly said...

I read your comment on another blog in which you said, "Go Penn State." I read down through some of your posts and saw mention of PA. My son graduated from Penn State in 2001, and I have become a fan of Penn State football. How about the game on Saturday! It will be interesting to see how they do on Saturday against Notre Dame.