“Content with My Delusions,” I Wait


Content With My Delusions, Jacqueline Hurlbert, 

Only I could see him,

my dark friend, slim

with rabbit ears

and glowing eyes—

so kind, so wise.


He comforted me

I spoke to him alone–see

no one else believed in him,

but friends we were and are–

and from me he never strayed far.


I gave him a gift, a striped shirt,

and he said, sorry, don’t be hurt–

but I’ve got to go away for now.

somehow, remember us, don’t fuss–

this is only a phase, it’s ever thus.


(Count the days. Discuss.)


Today is my ninetieth birthday,

and I think I feel his glowing gaze

from somewhere in the night.

He’s come for me, my old dark friend—

Hello, good-bye, this is my end.


(We begin again.)


Today on dVerse, Linda has asked us to write poems based on the work of artist Jackie Hurlbert.  Her Web site can be found here.





67 thoughts on ““Content with My Delusions,” I Wait

  1. Merril, I like the compassion bond that is shared between the two and how they are bound only by the cyclicity of things. A tender poem and a lovely spin on the photo. I wrote to this one also.

  2. I love it! The imaginary friend was the first thing that came to mind on this painting! It is such a good way to portray what might be going on. This is great… in childhood and then in the second childhood.

  3. I really like how you captured the closeness of having that imaginary friend. The ending is poignant – I like to believe they come alive at the end of our lives.

  4. Aww, this was wonderfully woven with such an impact at the end, Merril. You found just the way to tell this, with gentle words which are so touching. Love dVerse to fit the painting!

  5. Your poem reminds me of my prose – I have a difficult time sometimes writing about “normal,” since I feel that what’s more normal than NOT seeing a long-eared dark friend, is seeing one and embracing the friendship. This poem has so many complex and glorious elements. For one, it actually celebrates the imagination that dementia encourages, and embraces it. (I know, you’re not celebrating dementia – we all know how horrific it is), but if we find some positive points of it – like finding a dark quiet long-eared friend, gone since childhood – we find ease into the stage of leaving ‘normal’ and going to a better place.

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