You could have a big dipper   

Parkinson’s Destination by Julie A. Dickson

CW: Ageing, nursing home, long-term illness.


A house dress of blue flowers,

Nana’s uniform, image stuck deep

in my head – but I never knew her.

I recall her leaning, hands in lap,

tremors wracking her limbs,

whispery voice I strained to hear.


He could no longer care for her;

Grandfather’s heart attack landed hard

on his chest, pain restricted breathing;

who would take over with Nana?


My father’s car approached slowly,

great hulking brick structure - Bethany

Nursing Home. We entered, my brother,

Father; I held mother’s hand. Odors

assaulted my nose, disinfectant and

urine permeated my sinuses.


Mother put on a fake smile; I couldn’t,

eyes brimming with tears. My brother

talked of playing checkers with the old men;

Dad went outdoors to walk the grounds.

Are we really leaving Nana here?

My young mind wanted to scream out.


On Saturdays, picnic lunch eaten in the car,

we rode an hour to see Nana. I helped feed

my shaking silent Nana pureed mystery food

so she wouldn’t choke; Mother gagged

when she cleaned Nana’s dentures;

I couldn’t think of anything to talk about.



Julie A. Dickson writes poetry on topics such as teen bullying, nature, animal rights and loves to write Ekphrastic poems! Her work appears in many journals including Misfit, Open Word, Ekphrastic Review and Sledgehammer, or look for full length works on Amazon. Dickson shares her home with two rescued feral cats, Cam and Claire.

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