Spirit shining, body gone.
For Dick Belsey

Soft shuffle across the well worn floors.
The crippled man intricately maneuvering
His motorized wheel chair; now behind you
Throwing towels, like flowers, on each of the tables.
You pause, trying to offer your help
Slowly speaking each word
Struggling to describe
Your dignity compromised.

The subtle beginning of affliction,
Its tortuous denial:
Approaching the microphone
At the last hearing on Hanford
Trying so desperately to speak,
You could not articulate, even
The stark embarrassment of silence,
As you turned away into Parkinson's Disease.

Now in what little health care is available,
Across the well worn floors,
Facing the end of your life.
Barely able to lift your body, you rise,
Grasping the edge of your walker,
Wishing my son well in his pursuit of music
Asserting how (in the greatness of spirit)
It too is politics.

In gratitude for another life's activism.  lloyd marbet, 3/12/01