Iowa Writes

FLOYD SANDFORD
Like Two Old Trees


There they go, arm in arm, my two companions Jiri and Marie,
at night along the unlighted street covered with leaves wet from the snow
Life partners for over half a century.

Jiri's steps flag and falter. "A circulation problem in my legs," he says.
And yesterday at tea I was surprised to see the Marie I've known for years
      suddenly disappear behind a mask, stolen away by some obscuring
      neural veil

"Alzheimer's," says Jiri.

But here they are, lurching and laughing, like two children at a game.

There they go, arm in arm, my two companions Jiri and Marie,
at night along the unlighted street covered with leaves wet from the snow
Life partners for over half a century.

Jiri's steps flag and falter. "A circulation problem in my legs," he says.
And yesterday at tea I was surprised to see the Marie I've known for years
      suddenly disappear behind a mask, stolen away by some obscuring
      neural veil

"Alzheimer's," says Jiri.

But here they are, lurching and laughing, like two children at a game.

I look at my friends holding on to one another as they weave and falter,
      and think of two trees in the woods.
Each bent and leaning against the other, with roots partly exposed,
      less strong and secure but still upright, still putting forth leaves
      and embracing the sun.

Here they go, my two old friends Jiri and Marie, linked arm in arm,
      like two old trees, weaving their unsteady and uncertain course
      on rough cobblestones and wet leaves.
Heading home up the narrow darkness of Glinkova Street
      on this cold, moonless
November evening in Praha.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


FLOYD SANDFORD

Floyd Sandford is a Coe College Professor emeritus of Biology. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, he does marine biology research in the Caribbean, enjoys world travel and long-distance hiking, and works to encourage habitat preservation and increased biodiversity for wildlife and other entities with no voice on an acreage in Northeast Iowa.

This page was first displayed
on May 15, 2006

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