“The Stranger at 3 AM” by Steve Pelcman

The Stranger at 3 AM
(A father with Alzheimer’s)

I know that it is you
because I can smell your age
behind the closed door
and hear your shuffling feet

go back and forth
between our bedrooms,
a distance you cannot measure
in the dark.

And so you stand there
gasping for the slender
light that reaches you
from under my door,

and we both knew
you came to tell me
you were dying again,
that you were living out

someone else’s life
that you were greedy
for every last drop of light,
that you were too afraid

to feel safe
and that in not knowing
what to do
you knew to stand there

softly breathing against the wood
practicing being noticed.

Steven Pelcman
like water to STONE Adelaide Books 2017