I watch as friends struggle to find words, to follow instructions, to grasp concepts. Some call it dementia; some call it cognitive impairment; some call it “chemo-brain.” And some simply wear a bewildered look.
I realize this is dangerous ground – I haven’t been there myself, yet. But by the time I get there, I won’t be able to put the experience into words. I also realize that the people who could tell me if I got it right – or badly wrong – probably can’t respond. My hope, however, is that this poem may help some of you, who have friends or relatives with some form of ongoing dementia, appreciate what they may be feeling.
The fog creeps in
on little dendrites and axons,
It short-circuits the fungal filaments
that feed the chemistry of communication
from gray cell to… oh, what were the numbers
for the combination lock
on my memory locker?
Clarity scampers like a squirrel,
always just out of reach.
I grasp at dust motes dancing in a sunbeam....