Here Is Your Home

by Robert Mitchell

I came developed out of rusty voices
faintly heard away in the distance,
                    away back,
far back in the mind I heard the faint litany of sound
                    build to flood
harkening the atoms in my blood to call out,
proclaim here is your home, here you remain
living alone with your dreams.
I need only dreams to further explain.

Robert’s last poem, written around October 1, 2007, at Beth Abraham Nursing Home, where Oliver Sacks had worked for several years developing creative strategies to help patients with dementia. There was unhappy contention among some of Bob’s friends about my decision to send Bob to Beth Abraham, and Bob himself was at first unhappy at being confined. The poem may reflect a resolution of his anxiety about his general decline.  —Patrick Geoghegan 

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