Faded [a villanelle]

I don’t recall when she began forgetting;
Was there a turning point from well to ill?
I only know she slowly faded away.

She couldn’t remember my name, or how I came
To be in her life. Relationship dissolved.
I don’t recall when she began forgetting.

Her eighty-year-old eyes would dart nervously,
Settle vacuously upon my face.
I only know she slowly faded away.

She’d whisper and babble; she’d point and smile;
Seemed happy for the moment, while the future held…
I don’t recall what she began forgetting.

The irony taunted me: Childless by choice
Now mother to my own. Not daughter, but orphan.
I only know she slowly faded away.

And denial evolved into fear, then acceptance,
Dissolved into mourning, the longest silence.
I don’t recall when she began forgetting,
I only know she slowly faded away.

******

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