Lois (Alzheimer poem #1)

It started so simply:
first,  she would forget
where she put
the damned car keys

then, gradually
she misplaced  her car
& forgot how to start it
& where to take it
& how to get home
& then which home
she needed to get to

just like that
I went from Susan,
to one of my kids,
to a  stranger

One afternoon,
after she had unlearned
how to swallow,
but before
she forgot that she didn’t
like children

I combed her hair
the mirror framing
her face,
both of us watching

who’s that,
she asked,
gesturing towards
herself;

she looks familiar.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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11 Responses to Lois (Alzheimer poem #1)

  1. BEAUTIFUL but it has squeezed my heart in sadness and my own memories with my grandmother Hope~ Deborah

  2. gajenn says:

    This is piercing both with sadness but it’s also beautifully simple and clean and honest.

  3. jeglatter says:

    Heartbreaking. Thankful you have found your voice in it to share.

  4. noelihebuzor says:

    Beautiful, painful, yes, very painful, I read this with moisture in my eyes, and i can imagine your pains as you wrote this poem. You capture the struggles and pains associated with memory loss so powerfully. can I share this on Twitter?

  5. unfinishedpractice says:

    This is great. A journey in 30 lines. A lot of tenderness, and patience. I loved the line “she forgot she didn’t like children” -it’s loaded with personality.

    • Thanks, Brian–you remember my mom in those lines–all those defenses were finally down and she was finally free to love the way she never allowed herself to, when she was “all there.”

      Someone, a while ago (probably you!) told me to show feelings, and not tell them in my poetry, and I tried to do that here. So glad you liked it.

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