Parkinson’s Mask

As the mime peels off one expression and wipes on another,
so Parkinson’s swipes and skims my father’s face.
Sweeping expression.

The mask advances like a glacier, almost imperceptibly, over years, decades.
flattening his forehead,
leveling his brows,
trampling and freezing
his cheeks,
A frigid veil unfurling.

Absent the lively encasement of raised brows and creased lids,
his eyes resemble orbs of dark ice.
Emotion buried underneath.

Once a mirror of my own expressions,
now, muscles seized,
rigid plateau,
his face often
reflects nothing,
returns nothing.

I want to push up the corners of your eyes and return the glint of the sprightly jokester.
I want to pull up the corners of your mouth and return the guffawing grin.
I want to see you look angry.

The mime sweeps his hand over his face, replaces tragedy with joy.
My father’s mask remains.

8 thoughts on “Parkinson’s Mask

  1. Dana that was beautiful… Cannot imagine the pain it causes you ,Aunt Dottie and the rest of the family to see such a virile man become someone you don’t recognize…it saddens me to no end…my Uncle was such an alive person with as you said a smile you cannot forget…prayers always for all of all are never far from the surface of my thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dana, your words hit home, they are beautiful and true.There is nothing more troubling than to watch an illness take our loved ones from us right before our eyes. My love to you all. I hope and pray for all illness to be healed from this world. And I am so sorry to know my handsome, happy Uncle is hidden from us all. Know that l wish some peace to come to you all….my love to you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dana, submit this somewhere. There are so many who can relate to this piece. It is beautifully said and brought tears to my eyes. I LOVE IT and expresses the effects of such a complex disease so simply. Yet, your unending love lets the man under the mask feel loved which is a treasured gift in a world and disease for which he has no control. I have to believe beneath the mask he still feels deeply.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dana, you are truly talented. Yea, your poem made me cry. I have known your Dad longer than you have and it is hard to realize all he has gone through – such a wonderful personality has left and we are all sad. My prayers are with you!
    Love, “Aunt Betty”


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