The solace of your heart

is not always enough

he said

standing on the pier

touching his left hand

when the wind blows, it feels like a ghost

with breath tinged by salt

your grey eyes still sad

down turned in strain

mosaic of worry, we didn’t anticipate

losing the stretch of land, leading to sea

its hypnotic pull, tearing you gradually from me

your face a shroud of former memory

the words we clung onto

destroyed by encroaching incomprehension.

Once, when we were young

lying beneath a fan in hot climate

you turned in profile

I wish I had learned more languages, you said

I smiled and said yes, in Italian, French, Russian

now I would give that day and others

for you to understand one

and from the sea mist rejoin me, as I stand alone.

The sun left a mark, never removed

on my finger where we promised

til death

though you’ve been gone, long before you breathed last

our sorrow was an empty room

with a man sketching patterns on the floor

in lue of all we were before

his name I forget.


18 thoughts on “Alzheimer

  1. This… made me remember how we had to place my paternal great grandmother in the care of a licensed professional for those with early onset dementia. She’d gotten to where she saw my cousin Chrissy when looking at me instead of me. I don’t think I was ready for the tears that just started to fall. It’s ironic what we try to forget, but cannot when memories are stirred.

    This is a very powerful, soul-stirring write.

  2. It wasn’t Alzheimer’s, but another type of Dementia (vascular, most likely) that my father had. I leave it one who could pen this poem to understand how it touches me. Thank you.

  3. Waaah- tragically sad, making me cry into my morning cuppa here in Australia; my Mum has Dementia, so we are starting on that journey… the long goodbye indeed. Beautifully expressed, thank you

  4. Alzheimer’s….It’s the cruelest disease – to its victim and to everyone in its close circle (family, friends). My mom died of it two years ago. It was terrifying and horrible. Thanks for sharing this, Candice. ❤️

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