Dementia by Alan Ford

Dementia

I am in mourning. I have
lost you although you are still here.
I see your bewildered look,
your confusion. We are separated
by the death of thought.

You resemble a closed book
so I cannot turn the pages. There
are no notes, no explanations
in your margin.
Our life together is unread.

You lie there in a fog of words,
as if you are learning a new language.
Yet you cannot speak my name. And you
cannot recognize my face.
Our future is unspoken.

As you age you return to childhood.
As you move further away from me
I cannot imagine where you are
or why you have gone.
I just look for what remains.

For now I see you pace through my life
you stride back and forth. Are you
searching for something you cannot find?
A feeling. An intuition. Are you conscious
of the person you used to be?
In the reflection of your eyes do you
recognize yourself?

For time aches in the space between us,
longing to be filled. We live in
dead days and empty nights.
I want to embrace you but
I have gone from being your lover to your carer.

Our old life together is now over. But
I will be here until I am no longer needed.
I have taught you so little. But there is
so much I have learned about myself.

by Alan Ford

Editor’s Note: The beauty of the metaphors in this poem intensifies the grief of the underlying narrative until the closing line arrows itself into the reader’s heart.

4 thoughts on “Dementia by Alan Ford

  1. At the end of stanza 1, “separated / by the death of thought” got me. Then it got better. The metaphors are smooth, each seeming to progress from the previous. A bit like dementia, perhaps. A difficult thing to write about. This adds to its definition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So straightforward in its artfulness. No clever phrasing. No unwanted irony. Just the facts and the heartbreak. Moving and real. To write about something so difficult with the bare bones of the thing requires the steely hand of understatement and reserve: for maximal impact.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful…

    On Tue, Oct 26, 2021, 8:00 AM Autumn Sky Poetry Daily wrote:

    > Christine Klocek-Lim posted: “Dementia I am in mourning. I have lost you > although you are still here. I see your bewildered look, your confusion. We > are separated by the death of thought. You resemble a closed book so I > cannot turn the pages. There are no notes, no explanations in y” >

    Like

  3. Having lost both a parent and a beloved aunt to Dementia, I tend to avoid poems on the subject.But,I’m glad that I read it .It is a beautiful poem that doesn’t attempt to avoid the deep pain involved,and the poem ends with the final line of wisdom about one’s own self.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.