April is the time for sweet reminiscence of days gone by and days that are yet to be in which we keep our memories, neatly tucked into the pockets and folders of our thoughts. It is strange, but sometimes our physical minds betray us in that we have difficulty remembering what we ate for breakfast and yet we can remember with stunning clarity what we did twenty years ago. We often can remember conversations with loved ones that we can recall with precision. The following piece is about Alzheimer’s disease and how it takes its toll on the people we love.
Just one flicker of recognition illumines her ancient eyes,
as she opens her door to let me inside.
“You’re familiar. Your mother’s name is Mary, isn’t it?”
I tell her once again,
“No, Agnes, my mother is Helen. Mary was my Grandmother.”
And so the conversation falls into the old rutted pattern
Like every visit before.
Once, a proud and stately woman. Independent to her innermost soul.
Alive with ambitions and dreams. Filled with
electrified energy that would burst at the seams.
“Did you know my husband, Tony?”
“No, I didn’t Agnes. But I knew your mother.”
“We’re related aren’t we?”
Days filled with game shows, movies and news,
Nutcracker Suites and Wheel of Fortune.
“I wonder if they can see us? Do they know we’re looking?”
“No, Agnes, they can’t see us, but isn’t it nice
that we can see them?”
The battery is low once again on the smoke alarm,
Beeping its routine rhythmical pace.
“What is that noise? It must be a cricket.”
I wander into her kitchen making my periodic forays,
First through her refrigerator and then her cupboards.
I try not to offend the woman who once possessed
such a keen business acumen.
A mind that now swirls in a vortex of forgetfulness.
A half gallon of almost spoiled milk, the lone inhabitant in an
otherwise spotless realm of darkened cold.
Cookies that have been barely touched dominate
the barren counter top
So I make a mental note to bring her some groceries and a new
battery to silence that
‘darned old cricket.’
As we sit in her living room, she looks over at me
with eyes still clear, she pats my hand and smiles.
Silence fills the void for an infinitesimal moment
Between commericals for Dial Soap and Pepsi,
“Who are you, honey?”
By Janice J. Robinson © 1995
If you are a Christian poet in the Chicago area, at least for the month of April, this writer would like to make available to other poets a place to exhibit some of your poems. Please only submit your own original poems, since you can give permission to publish your work. You can contact this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your poems must glorify the Lord God, or His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ or the Word of God. God Bless you in your endeavors.