Monday, January 19, 2009

A Poem for My Grandfather

I don't think that art is relegated to only the visual (does anyone?), which is why I decided to share this poem with you on my art blog. I used to be a voracious writer, but I haven't kept up with it very much in the past few years, and only occasionally do I sit down to write something.

My grandfather has had Alzheimer's for a while now, but it has gotten to the point where he must be sent to a nursing home. I don't think I need to tell you how devastating that has been for the entire family. Alzheimer's is the cruelest of diseases, stripping the mind of memory and logic. It has been a drawn-out and sad experience to watch my grandfather slowly disappear, and I felt like penning something about it.

His mind shutters
And blinks
Before settling on a soft, ribbony cusion of Nothing.

To watch him crumble,
Stripped away of memory and dignity,
An endless loop of questions ever-present on his lips,
The shadow of who he used to be
Captured forever inside a faded photograph,
Is almost unbearable.

And he will be locked away,
Confused and isolated,
Unable to fumble with buttons or smile at his wife.
I wonder
If he will know his pain
--if only for a second--
As a helping hand raises a spoon to his mouth.

Liquid eyes
A mind of Blank
Seasons past lost forever
Leaving only a searing string of ache.