Life in the Past Lane – Alan Harris

cancel the MRI
stop the Aricept protocol
I’m not renewing the Namenda
it’s neither dementia
nor delirium
casting my mind adrift
it’s not depression
driving me back
down old roads
so what if I’m
more curious about the past
than the future
let me return
to my comfort zone
my home sweet home
clean the wax
from your stethoscope
and listen to my soul
you might just overhear
a memory whisper
a professional courtesy
asking you politely
to back away from my chart
and allow my past
to take it from here

alanharrisAlan Harris is a hospice volunteer and graduate student who helps hospice patients write memoirs, letters, and poetry. Harris is the 2011 recipient of the Stephen H. Tudor Scholarship in Creative Writing, the 2014 John Clare Poetry Prize, and the 2015 Tompkins Poetry Award from Wayne State University.