Forgetting – by KIM BAILEY DEAL

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The maze of hallways all seem

the same, nurse’s stations with sad

still faces and bent backs,

watching the clock until a light blinks

until another patient wanders past

the invisible fence of the floor.


My father-in-law does not remember

me, a stranger he met when his mind

was already broken,

Sometimes he smiles when I enter

his room, more often he cries

for his momma.


My back bends with the nurse

we hold him up to dress or bathe

while he spits curses and yells

or jokes with the cute blonde.

I am weary

I want to go home.


We had one good day

he told me his same old stories

we sang, The Old Rugged Cross,

I’ll cherish, burdens I lay down

the smile on his face

the light in his eyes.


The last week he was in his room

a house much too large for two

my husband and his mother, his brothers

none knew how to fix it, grief

was a squatter, invisible I wrung

my hands, I felt so helpless.


After we said goodbye to him

the light was gone from us,

wicked wounding words, stricken by fear

faithless, broken we had become

our legacy, lingering loss of trust

a last word

for a last word.


My husband’s eyes and hands

dimpled smile so like his father’s,

watching him sometimes frightens me.

Will he forget who I am?

Will we be strangers one day,

or were we all along?



Kim Bailey Deal writes Women’s Fiction, short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. She’s been published in Issue #3 of Firefly Magazine, A Journal of Luminous Writing. Kim has also been a guest blogger for Robert Lee Brewer’s blog at She authors a weekly column and is Social Media Manager for Kim also has a creative nonfiction piece, Mexican Night, published in Pilcrow & DaggerAugust/September Issue: Giggles Galore, Kim is mom to three sons and one daughter, Nim to her grandchildren and step-daughter. She lives with her husband, John, near Chattanooga, TN. To connect her website is:

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