Alzheimer’s Day

it is almost father’s day
we will go to your dad’s

put on the kid gloves
pretend nothing is wrong

laugh, eat, maybe put some
puzzles together

he will read the paper
shuffle to the bathroom

repeat the process
until your mother hides it

talks about the weather
standard oil, and with me

the war, the marshall islands
and not getting your ass blown off

on sunday he will
examine the presents

put them away
and for a minute

wonder why we are
giving him gifts

in the middle
of the summer

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15 Responses to Alzheimer’s Day

  1. Vincent says:

    This poem touches me in many ways and has a certain perfection about it, which naturally I do not care to analyze. I think a lot about death these days, though I could have forty years to go and nobody dear to me is any older. But it’s longevity of course which increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. What shall I do if I get it? My instinct says that I won’t but I will die of something in the end if only kidney failure, which can mean nothing more than “old age” like my car which I have had from new which has mysteriously broken down and they say it may be a “crank switch” i.e. some random component that wore out. I already had to replace the alternator and the coil at different times. the entire dashboard doesn’t work (the various dials: speed, temp, revs, fuel) but I can’t afford to replace that. And apart from the worn-out bits it works as well as I need.

    It’s the same with my body, but Alzheimer’s is a bit worse than none of the dials working. I believe it is possible to decide to die and do it, without it being technically suicide, without committing violence upon your body. I believe that what keeps us alive is the will to live and it’s possible to relinquish that without all the symptoms of depression and despair. Saints and yogis have done it. Married couples have done it, when one partner is left widowed but survives only six months after the other.

  2. johemmant says:

    Very powerful, such a deft touch you have, always just enough words to move us.

  3. lissa says:

    yess powerful & touching.

  4. AnnieH says:

    You caught the moment perfectly. It’s almost as if there is a parallel life going on in the same room, because that person is just not with you.

  5. ybonesy says:

    yes, a poignant crystallized moment

  6. Bob says:

    This piece epitomizes my worst fears. These days, every forgotten date, every misplaced document, every familiar face with no name brings Alzheimer’s specter galloping to the forefront and brings terror to my life. For some, life is too long.

    Sorry… very powerful writing.

  7. JO says:

    A melancholy sound between the lines. Very sad and something most people have seen in an aged parent to some degree.

  8. Scot says:

    vincent
    good analogy–yes it is a bit worse

  9. Scot says:

    thank you lissa

  10. Scot says:

    Happy Father’s Day Bob!

  11. Scot says:

    ybonsey–thanks for reading

  12. Scot says:

    Jo–thank you for the kind words

  13. Scot says:

    JO–thanks for stopping in

  14. paisley says:

    in our family it is the females,, great gran and gran with the alzheimers… just this week i forwarded an email from mot to my sister,, and said,, what do you make of this??? it is so scary.. i don’t know if i can let it happen to me… i just don’t….

  15. Scot says:

    paisley
    it is sad stuff for sure–it is amazing the things they do remember–and then what was said one minute ago

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