Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

   One of my favorite writers is T.S. Eliot. When I first read his classic The Waste Land I was stunned by the imagery and creativity that he used. The poem was like no other, and in my opinion it still is. His ability to collect thoughts, ideas, music, and memory in a written work made the piece a fascinating mosaic. In my personal experience, watching someone go through the maze of Alzheimer’s Disease is very much like The Waste Land. At first there is confusion and then a sense of clarity and understanding emerges.                            

   Part I

    She is scared

    She doesn’t know why

    So am I

    What lies in the shadows?

    I remember when she wasn’t so lost

    I wasn’t lost then

    I hold her hand in the dark

    But she can’t remember..

    

    “Did you get your money? I was always worried that you wouldn’t?”

     “Sometimes you just have to let them stew in their own juices,

     If that doesn’t take, then let them go.”

     I wonder if she will remember me?

     She forgets the names, faces, and places

     We are a collaboration of colors in her masterpiece

      I hope I am in green

      She is a shell of her former self

     And I grab on to her coat tails and go for the ride

    “How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wagging tail?”

     “Maybe you should write a story about it, and then read it to me?

       I said “I don’t want to, it will take forever.”

       “We all don’t have forever.”

       “I love the holidays it’s the only time that I feel my family is together, whatever family I have left that is.”

        I watched her in the doorway

        Eyes lit with unshed tears

        The tree was up and lit like always

        The ornaments her children had made

        And her children’s children

Part II

“Christmas in Killarney where all the folks are home…..”

      “I am dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know

     Where the tree tops glisten and children listen….”

        She has her hand against her chest in a sigh

         It is the tree of strength

          It is grandpa

         It is a monument to our family

         It reminds me of the years past

          She exclaims at last

         “It is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, Kaite.”

       

     I am a shadow hidden by the shade

      I watch her fade away

      Why is it so clear to me

      She wants to remember

      It is beyond her now.

      Thin and failing body

      Lost and forgotten soul

     A woman who had such a voice

     Like thunder rolling in on a tropical storm

     Is silenced by mortalities curse, age.

      “We sold her house today.”

      I remember when the house was alive

      Breathing with a heart beating

      The people that went in and out gave it strength

      We were its life.

       She would sway across the living room floor

       “Dancing cheek to cheek…”

        Laughing as she would plie’ into the kitchen

        Green fades with beige and white

        Blue like the couch, and black like the night

        She is in my dream on the ground

        I can not tell if she’s alive

        She is face down into the gray carpet

         I am running through the door

         The faster I run the father away she is

         I am hopeless

To Be Continued..

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