Lingering Shadows

The concierge

Lingering Shadows

The welcome expressed in a stilted manner,

in response to my initial reticence.

Helpfulness issued from your heart,

in response to a word of appreciation.


A specific compliment,

received with a rehearsed reply,

punctuated with a fleeting smile,

giving way a growing sense of ease.


Ensuring the comfort of each guest,

conveyed by intent yet undone by image.

Oblivious to the message broadcast via dress code,

focused on fulfilling anticipated and imagined needs.


Assuming the role of diligent concierge,

lacking the sheen or polish of the trade.

Wearing your intentions on your sleeve,

striving to shake your former life.


Distancing yourself from the realities of a harsher life,

not realizing the extent of the gap.

While engaged in the realm of valid employment,

the shadows of your past a constant companion.


Author: Jasper Hoogendam

After 36 years as an educator my career ended due to a TBI. Renewable energy as part of 'walking lightly on this earth' has been and continues to be my interest since my teen years. Since early 2015 I have been learning to live with ABI (Acquire Brain Injury). I don't want to let my ABI limit the goals I set for myself. I'm living with a different brain, not a lesser brain. In sharing my day to day successes and struggles, I am better able to understand how my life had changed and begin to accept the change. In sharing my experiences I'm hearing from caregivers and fellow ABI's. I'm encouraged when my experiences are helping others understand some of the complexity of living with ABI.

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