You Still Know Me

by ALAN BALTER



once they would have called you “feeble minded”
or “senile,” but now they say you’re “demented”
not that it matters to me my friend,
because I call you Michael

the nurses say you don’t know me
but when I hold your quaking hand in mine
and a crooked smile plays around your lips
I know they’re mistaken

not long ago we played our games
between sugar maple trees and a red brick building
where they warehoused sheets of metal for some war
instead of once brilliant men

and the day after, we went to college
where we learned the law yet still found time
to write poetry for pretty coeds with blond hair
and full lips who loved us in your rusty Studebaker

then somehow, it became today
and I’ve come to visit you, as I will tomorrow,
and your eyes will brighten because you still know me
my good and dear friend Michael


About the Author

Alan Balter is a retired professor who worked at Chicago State University where he prepared teachers for children and adolescents with developmental delays, learning disabilities, and emotional disorders. During retirement, he has been writing fiction, personal essays, and poetry. He and his wife Barbara, also a retired teacher, enjoy extensive travel and 14 grandchildren.

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