‘Dementia’ – a poem by request

Photos line that walldementia
On the left.

The black and white ones
Start at the beginning.

You can see Grandma in most of those.

She’s got the obvious red lips
Even on black and white.

She was really pretty, wasn’t she?

She had more than red lips
And a pencil skirt.

There’s a shine to that woman.

A firecracker in her eye
Spices in her mouth

All rubbed into her hips.

She gets one on you, kiddo.
You don’t get one on her.

‘THAT’S Grandma?’
The youngest is asking.

It is hard to reconcile
Yesterday’s mirthful gleam

With today’s soft stare.

Yes, that’s Grandma honey.

The little one looks like
Maybe he doesn’t believe you.

He knows some things, you know.

Like…

Grandma doesn’t say much.
But she screams when you bathe her.

Grandma doesn’t move much
But she broke the lamp when she threw it.

Grandma doesn’t know daddy
She thinks he’s Grandpa

(who died a long time ago).

Grandma has to wear a diaper
And he doesn’t have to any more.

He knows that Grandma is sad
And it makes him sad, too.

Especially when you tell him
That pretty lady in the picture…

That’s Grandma.

Background

I was asked to write a poem about losing a loved one to dementia. This is the result.

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