Ian C. Smith

Lit-Mag #38 – (Not) at home in Vienna


I have visited the disease of Alzheimer’s
where flickering shadows softly come and go.
The patient’s repeated mantra
her look of worry and displeasure
pierced me, lone pleas breaking
from the soporific jetstream of a mind
jarring me into thinking of what I am
what I might have been and done
and where we all might go.

In panic I ran wide in the human race.
Of a loveless tribe, I missed the start
moonwalking through indifferent space
outpaced, pretending nothing mattered.
Then I found solace, blanching at emotion
losing myself in words that shield my heart.
I think I was appalled by the commotion
of everybody’s devout scramble
to mount the victory dais of happiness.

If not for the attraction of rhymers
I might slavishly praise grandchildren
named for places and famous faces
could have trained in tomfoolery
memorised television buffoonery
caressed a cell phone like a tiny pet
developed an addiction to trends
even kept a diary with end pages
boasting alphabetical lists of safe friends.

Now, in seclusion, I turn to my books
though silverfish dismay, and silence
to guide me to the finishing line.

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