Meanwhile Odysseus, who had been sleeping
in his own native land of Ithaca
woke up, but did not recognize the place . . . "
--from Emily Wilson's translation of Homer's Odyssey
See your friend there?
She looks much the same as
she has always looked to you--
small and fine-boned as the birds that
swirl in the tree between your houses.
For years you two have shared that tree
and more--stories of your
children and your husbands
and all the things, dark and light,
that have filtered through your hearts.
But she is changed now, touched by an illness
that is touching her mind
so that being with her as the day unfolds
is like waking up a stranger in
the place that used to be your home.