MJC (1/27/92 / Edina, MN)


I knew she wasn't well,
That forgettable 6 years ago.
She would forget dates,
And other minor things of that sort.
What I didn't know,
Was she was suffering unimaginably.

She wasn't getting any better,
That blurry 5 years ago.
She would forget where she was,
And other things of that matter.
What I did know,
Is she was getting sicker as each day passed,
With the horrible disease that plagued her mind.

I knew she was getting worse,
That fuzzy 4 years ago.
She would forget names,
Like family and friends.
I thought inside she would get better,
And it would just be a dream,
The last 2 years.

I could notice her suffering,
That unforgettable 3 years ago.
She would sit on her bed,
In a new nursing home every couple of months,
Her stare as blank as the walls
Surrounding her.
Inside I knew,
She was dying slowly.

I could see her fading,
That distant 2 years ago.
I could see her slowing,
Forgetting more and more.
Her voice slowly ebbing,
Until words slur into babble.
I refused to have the
Reality finally hit.

I knew she was long gone,
That dispiriting 1 year ago.
She held a stare that went forever.
A thought of her passing haunted
My conscience.

I watched the nurses feed her
The mashed up food that didn't
Resemble food.
I watched her being wheeled down
The hall way, something she once did
With her own patients.

And now,
As I lay in my bed,
I finally realize I can't do anything
To heal her pain.
I can't help her remember
The ones that loved her most.
I can't teach her how to
I can't do anything to stop
Her 6 year struggle.

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Comments (1)

Heart-rending poem. My mother has this, or something resembling this; it hasn't been diagnosed yet. She is fading away. If I may say so, I feel that you have expressed the agony of this for both patient and concerned person extremely well.