Saturday, December 1, 2007

“Alzheimer’s: The Husband,” by C.K. Williams


He’d been a clod, he knew, yes, always aiming toward his vision of the
good life, always acting on it.
He knew he’d been unconscionably self-centered, had indulged himself
with his undreamed-of good fortune,
but he also knew that the single-mindedness with which he’d attended
to his passions, needs and whims,
and which must have seemed to others the grossest sort of egotism, was
also what was really at the base
of how he’d almost offhandedly worked out the intuitions and moves
which had brought him here,
and this wasn’t all that different: to spend his long-anticipated retirement
learning to cook
clean house, dress her, even to apply her makeup, wasn’t any sort of
secular saintliness—
that would be belittling—it was just the next necessity he saw himself as
being called to.

I like how conversational the tone is - the sound of someone talking to himself. I love “wasn’t any sort of secular saintliness—that would be belittling—it was just the next necessity.” Like the other poem of Williams’ earlier, this poem make me feel hopeful—that there is a good instinct within even the most unlikely. How wonderfully Williams celebrates goodness manifesting itself.
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