Parting Words

for one suffering from aphasia

She’s parting company with her vocab—
ulary and embracing it goodbye.
No need to cut herself on the inev-
itable thorns of words and phrases she
has loved like children, friends, and foreign vis-
itors who lift their luggage now to leave.
And so must she, within her dulling glos-
sary, behind her thinning veil of words.
She isn’t well, or ill, but only shriv-
eling back into this one rose whose buds
unfold into the children, verses, vase
she once inhabited.