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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, July 26, 2017.
About this Poem 

“In late 2015, my father was diagnosed with ‘moderate stage dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s.’ Anyone who has experience with this disease learns, sometimes again and again, to return to this hour, this moment, today. Rather than focus on the continual losses, or ask how much further there is to fall, you are reminded to reaffirm the entire picture of now, a now in exploded perspective, a now outside the lines of past or future.”
—Lauren Camp

Original Hope

One borrows time not to be left out.

Been in the pattern of sun—secure, re-creating.
One needs one thing.

One father is left with new limits, but one
father is left. This repeat is filled with above and below.
(Do you understand that it won't cease?)

Every hour compared to dozens of previous
hours and angers, and the daughters post pictures
of vanishing. Such is a comfort.

One agrees to ask for nothing.

Under time lives silence.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Lauren Camp. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Lauren Camp. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Lauren Camp

Lauren Camp

Lauren Camp is the author, most recently, of One Hundred Hungers (Tupelo Press, 2016) and The Dailiness (Edwin E. Smith Publishing, 2013).

by this poet

poem

After Robert Rauschenberg’s “Bed,”
oil and pencil markings on pillow, quilt, and sheet, 1955

So garish: the arc of his interior
thinking. So red,

so deceptive. The coordinates of this project fall
between sheets and box spring:

the command of horizontal passage.

2
poem

Let there be footfall and car door. Let me
be finished with fire. Let
the man get on a plane for his morning
departure, erasing each reverie. Soon
there will be only daylight,
maybe a blue envelope, torn. Maybe bracelets
of color from the petunias. I will need
to know how to