Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why We Need Poets

"Though she can no longer live alone,
I realize that no matter where my mother
lives now, she will always be alone
in a world forever gone wild in her mind.
Still thinking I am her last late boyfriend,
she leans closer, says, "you're always so kind
to me" and sighs as she pats my hand"

Floyd Skloot "Relocation"
from Book III The Alzheimer's Suite
in "Approximately Paradise"
Tupelo Press: 2005


Silicon Valley Diva said...

Indeed, we sure do. My grandfather just passed away from Alzheimer's, and this poem captures the helpless you feel, seeing someone you love "alone in a world gone mad."

acpaul said...

That's touching and sad all at once. I've cared for many Alzheimer's patients, and the poet has captured a snapshot of the disease so succinctly and well.

Thanks for sharing. Now I must go acquire that book.

Mags said...

Wow. Just wow.

The last time I saw my grandmother she asked me about my boyfriend John. I was fourteen.

I said "Granny, I don't have a boyfriend."

"Oh," she said, and her face was disappointed. "He was a lovely boy."

In my last visit with her, my grandmother believed me up a lovely boy to date. At that stage, although generally docile with the staff at her nursing home, Granny was prone to anxiety and rages when we visited because she didn't understand who we were and we disrupted her routines.

It was confusing to a fourteen year old, but it's a cherished memory now.

Wish I could capture it like that.

Ugly Deaf Muslim Punk Gurl! said...

short yet simple and effective.

freddie said...

I'm not usually one for poetry, but this one is a beauty.

Southern Writer said...

"a world forever gone wild in her mind."

Wow. Wish I'd written that.

Shell I said...

This is so poignant. I just saw my nana this weekend for the first time in years. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers a few years ago and it was not the nana I remember sitting across from me this weekend. She was always vibrant and talkative. This weekend she just sat and watched with a vague look in her eye. Although she never said it I don't think she knew who I was.

I was there with my 2 1/2 year old daughter. All the things I had to do for her (remind her to go to the toilet, cut up her meat into bite-sized pieces) my Grandad had to do for my nana. The difference is my daughter will continue to prosper and learn while my nana will just continue to deteriorate.

The saddest part about it though is that she seemed genuinely lost and alone and this poem definately puts that feeling into words so eloquently.

Bobbie said...

Like Freddie, just when I think I'm not a big poetry fan, you toss one to us like this. Beautiful.

My grandfather had Alzheimer's also, but it took a long time (way back when) for doctors to diagnose him. The first time I realized something was wrong was when he came into the room where we grandkids were sleeping at his house and asked where Mickey Mouse was. Watching my grandmother gently lead him out of there was something so touching--even to my 9-year-old mind--that I've never forgotten it.