A Poem By Tina: La Corona (The Rosary)

Tina is one of our team members as the Regional Engagement Lead where she supports the 200+ volunteers on Vancouver Island.

I am honoured to be spending time in and around long term care homes again. In the mid-1990s, I spent three years visiting my very young Mom almost every day. She lived in the ‘C Wing’ of a long-term care home as she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. My Mom was an immigrant from Italy and soon lost her ability to speak English once she moved into the home. It was an amazing way for me to start speaking Italian again and an experience I will never forget.

My visits with her and her friends in the ‘C Wing’ were so precious, I wrote a book of poems about the experience. It’s called ‘A Housecoat Remains’ published by Guernica Editions. Here is one of them:

La corona (The Rosary)

They dangle over the chintz lamp,

black beads.

Pale now from years of handling –

one by one

hour after hour

year after year in

this all too familiar bleached hospital room.

The beads, luster long gone.

Now what remains, are the veins in the wood,

dull dewdrops hanging beside her bed.

How many hours passed in prayer?

Mother lies on her back,

hands warm on her belly,

rising and falling with her breath.

A much needed nap.

As the beads sing their five mysteries to her.

dormi

dormi

canta che ti passa.

Lulling her.

We will take care of the rest.

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