Poem: Dementia

t5_resizeDementia

Every once in a while
he leaks out,
a phrase,
a quip, an unexpected
insight
so like him that you are startled,
tempted to believe
to believe he is still in there,

but then
it all disappears
and like a magic trick gone wrong,
he is gone.
and and you are tempted to believe
he is gone.

Neither is true.
What’s left is a whisp,
a ghost with a body,
with a brain
that no longer can find its way out,
cranking like some massive machine
gears almost finding each other,
but not quite,

About this poem.

The picture is of my father, who yes, suffers from Dementia. It was taken yesterday at my sister’s house where we took him from the nursing home to visit with all the family. Normally when I go see him, it’s for an hour or so each visit. But he was with us all afternoon, and I spent a lot of time watching him click in and click out.

LIke so many others who have a family member lost to dementia, I find myself wondering what goes on when things click in and out. Does the connected Dad know he’s lost time and history? Does he understand that things are wrong for that time he’s in our world? Or not?

I know there are medical reasons. My head knows this. But to my heart, it’s a sad mystery.

Tom

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