By Jill Robinson
You’re so beautiful: The last words he ever spoke to her,
not that he knew who she was anymore.
As his memories slowly dispersed, like dandelion seeds in a soft summer breeze,
his love for her remained.
The young child she brought to visit, snow white hair and deep blue eyes,
almost familiar, a vision in the mirror from a past now forgotten.
Look at those eyes! Those eyes, a key to his memories.
No longer able to bring words and meaning to the surface of his murky memories, those eyes
the only remaining connection.
Now in a strange place,
in and out of sleep.
A photograph, sepia tinged, in an ornate silver frame. A handsome couple.
Familiarity again tugging at his past.
clearly in love.
He cannot give them their names–no matter–he loves them the same.
These young people, just starting out with the whole world in front of them.
She takes him to the place with food even though he no longer cares to eat.
As they wait she hands him a green metal tractor, a child’s toy.
His own blue eyes find the light that’s been missing.
He has missed those green beasts, the open air, the large expanse of field,
Later she offers ice cream, his favorite, but he can find no interest in it.
It’s then it seems his time is near.
She tells him it’s ok to go with a kiss on his head. They sit in silence,
The hands that milked his dairy herd, that oiled the tractors in the shed, that swung a golf club in the sun, that held the winning hand in a game of Euchre,
now tired and quiet in his lap.
You’re so beautiful, he manages.
I love you, Grandpa, she whispers through the tightness, the hot tears blurring her vision.
She turns to leave and knows she won’t see him again,
wishes she had done more,
grateful for the time they shared.