Dementia remembered

Before dementia, with its cruel mercy

freed her from those golden bonds

of obligations and relationships


(the chilling question, and so carefully expressed

during the morning wash and powdering,

‘are we… related…?)


she’d carefully destroyed

all the photos of her family;

while leaving all her husband’s…

what did that mean, to that so loving daughter…?

What shames can those who love, so cherish

as some further goad ?


But she forgot, now that she slept downstairs

the photo of the grandfather whom I never met

(he died too early, of dread ‘cotton lung’);

flat, at the bottom of her dressing-table drawer..

he in full Freemason’s aproned  proud regalia

of Hope Lodge nearby Hope Street; nearby hope…


So now, he, on the wardrobe top

and I flat on the bed

gaze at each other in unshaped relationship

with our two views of her; so totally at odds;

except, except, for love;


she, immortal like that holy Maid herself,

girl-mother in our shared sweet thoughts;

out of mind but never out of mind.

◄ A Business Trip. A sonnet for Epiphany

Sunlight on white paint. For the New Year ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Fri 1st Jan 2010 16:15

Well - acquainted with the horoscope culture, are you? I'm a Libran ... as if you couldn't tell. My husband says the attributed characteristics are almost biographical!

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Ann Foxglove

Thu 31st Dec 2009 17:36

A lovely moving poem. That second verse is chilling in itself. Very delicate.

<Deleted User> (6560)

Thu 31st Dec 2009 16:06

Thanks, Cynthia. Yes... why did she ? Scorpios keep their deepest emotions well covered...

If I write too often about dementia, it's to warn gently other potential carers : what we need and most don't get, is early counselling, to ease 'that moment'.. 'Oh every case is different..' said Home Care blithely when I complained...

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 31st Dec 2009 15:36

'all the photos of her family' meaning the ones which she took, or the hereditary ones of her parents and siblings? I'm presuming the latter, erasing the genes' linkage from her side of the family, and before the loss of her apparent senses. Very interesting, Michael. Your play on words and their diverse meanings is always intriguing.

'to cherish' as 'a goad'. I must think about that.

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