I saw him outside the locked down unit just as he ran out the door
Following me as I left, had no idea where he was hiding,
But he was fast and agile……he can be that way when he wants to be.
I tuned around and said, “William how are you?”
He looked at me, smiled, and said “Markey, I want to go home”,
So we talked and I tried to get him back inside, to safety.
For him though it was something different; keeping him from seeing his mother.
“Please let me go home, what is going on, why are you locking up me this way?”
I never get used to this, the pain and confusion in his eyes, the longing for his mother,
It never lets up, over and over again, though he has no memory, but I do, we do.
It is branded in my consciousness never to be forgotten each incident,
Collected like a stamp hobbyist, added to the chain of confrontations
Doomed to be lived over and over again, just like Sisyphus, it seems at times.
I try to walk him back into the room; he gets loud and begins to scream at me.
“PLEASE, why are you doing this!” throwing off my arm that was flung over his shoulder.
The nurse comes out, and tries to talk to him, but he gets worse,
So I give her the signal that I always dread, something that never gets easy,
Routine, in how it is lived out, done, accomplished; no matter the outcome preordained.
Ever the same the pain felt, helpless to stop it, the confusion, the feelings of betrayal,
Deeply etched in their faces, on his face as we have to force him back inside
To an environment safe in our minds, but for him a prison in which he is unjustly held.
All the while in my heart a mantra bouncing like a tennis ball bouncing of the walls of an
sh**, sh**, sh**;
Walking away, with him pounding the door calling my name to please help him,
I just go, have other things to do, taking another to the doctor,
Each time my heart changed a little, made more tender, more vulnerable,
Something I want, for at times my heart can be like stone, cold and lifeless.
I no longer ask the why of things, I just accept it, knowing that I can try to do something,
In life there is pain, suffering, each person has the hands of Christ,
Reaching out, doing little perhaps, but doing something, hopefully lessening the pain.
We can try, the team, to help him a little, sometimes with meds, at others with love;
Best of all with chocolate and ice cream, something he loves now more than anything,
A constant in his life, something he can count on, will never be let down like I seem to do.
It is a gift we have to offer one another, to take care when self care is not possible,
To protect even when misunderstood,
To seek to make the last mile as pleasant as possible, with dignity as far as is possible,
So bitterness is not part of the journey, just hopefully a growth in love and caring,
And a thankfulness for the gift that is given to us in caring for others.