! ! Alan's Alzheimers
He stared at us sternly
from his oval frame above the table -
a rugged, handsome man
in his early fifties
with neatly clipped moustache and cowboy hat.
Later, at the nursing home,
they wheeled him toward us -
breath whistling through ancient lungs,
toothless mouth gaping,
eyes fixed inanely on the ceiling.
I used not to like him.
Dogmatic and dictatorial,
bossy and bellicose -
a man too fond of boozing
and laughing at his own jokes.
But today, when milky eyes
lit up in recognition,
and skinny hands clung-
I felt a wave of such tenderness
as I could not have imagined.
I took him in my arms
and kissed his scrappy hair,
and felt strangely at peace in his company.
Dementia had lifted the mask
to reveal the soul smiling beneath.
Alison Cassidy's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (! ! Alan's Alzheimers by Alison Cassidy )
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