The National Catholic Review

You wake without your passport
in a foreign city:
jet-lagged, not sure of
the day, the time.
You have the wrong clothes,
the wrong money.
You do not know the language,
the way to go home.

On the street, people rush about,
busy, important.
They jabber over your head.
You need a bathroom,
don’t know how to ask
in this tongue.
You have to
live here now.

Mary Damon Peltier, a freelance writer, lives in Sharon, Mass. This poem is thirdrunner-up in the Foley Poetry Contest.

Comments

Kathy Pesta | 10/4/2009 - 4:24pm
I love this poem.  It so clearly highlights the experience of an elderly person's steady decline in ability to just get through the simple parts of the day.  I can see this happening to my 89 year old mom with whom we live.  My mom was always a somewhat "spacey" person, so not all of her meaderings are attributable to age and I must confess to sometimes losing patience in my heart.  But this poem brought me back to a place of deeper respect and patience.  It's a little jewel of a poem.  Thank you!

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