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One Damn Muscle [Jan. 29th, 2006|08:10 pm]
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Marsha Learns to Feed Herself Without a Wrist

You've worked around it now, in just one day
awake with fingers dangling from your wrist.
Death nibbles you, you wrote, and sneaks away:
your legs, your memory; sex. The waiting list
is short, old remnants of a rich buffet.
And after thirty years, those crumbs he missed --
half-hand, bad eyes, pain, life in disarray --
retain the fierceness that he never kissed.

You'll not go gentle, Esther says. It's true;
but you're too busy living life to rage,
rage. Twice raging is for younger folk:
at careless aides, or Death, one rage will do.
"I'm busy now," you'll say to him backstage;
and when the curtains part, purloin his cloak.


Yesterday Marsha's wrist muscle in her "good" hand went on strike. Her fingers work, and her arm, but the muscle that moves the palm where it's attached to the wrist doesn't work. We were afraid she wouldn't be able to feed herself, but by this morning she'd figured it out. Aides could feed her; but given Marsha's temperament and that that Sturgeon's Law applies to nursing home care just as much as anything else, that would have been really rough.

It's still really rough. She can work the mouse, so she can "type" by clicking the mouse on an on-screen keyboard; but she can't use her actual keyboard, she can't push her glasses up on her nose, and I don't think she can change TV channels very easily.

Therefore the sonnet above.
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