Laura Ellen Eaves Ballard

Her Mind Went Traveling Today - Poem by Laura Ellen Eaves Ballard

Her mind went traveling today,
It packed it’s bags and slipped away.
It wanders old paths and memory’s lanes
and her dementia holds the reins.

It travels down roads that were not taken
and desires things long since forsaken.
It dwells on what she should have done
and fights old battles lost and won.

It re-lives talks that once she had
and remembers happy times and sad.
It replays her life again, again.
Her dementia adds what might have been.

It plays games and tricks her senses.
It concocts lies and it convinces.
It exaggerates her greatest fears
And gives her reasons for her tears

It jumbles memories all together
and forgets the truths that she would never.
It confuses facts, people, and places.
Yet remembers forgotten names and faces.

It makes her doubt the ones she loves.
It makes her question all she does.
It shows her things that are not there
and makes her think that we don’t care.

Her mind tries constantly to deceive her
She worries why we don’t believe her.
She says things that anger and annoy us.
Her mind’s filled up with paranoias.

So, is her dementia friend or foe?
That answer we may never know.
It’s stolen her from us, that’s true.
But protects her from her future too.

But why the anger and mistrust?
Why does it make her turn on us?
Her life was grand in so many a way,
What purpose does this deception play?

Does it create these stories to help her cope?
Does it ‘make believe’ to give her hope?
Does it shield her from her own lost mind?
That, in itself, is not so unkind.

Does it help us do what we must do?
Does it lessen the guilt we feel too?
Is deception dementia’s deceiving way,
to get us ALL through this difficult day?

Whatever the reason, we may never know.
Lets travel this together, Here we go! .
Because, her mind went traveling today.
(It won’t be back. At least not to stay.)

------written June,2008.

Comments about Her Mind Went Traveling Today by Laura Ellen Eaves Ballard

  • Matt Mooney (5/12/2010 10:11:00 AM)

    I'll keep on hunting while there are poems like this to discover on Poem hunter.It's very well constructed-a well rounded work of art and a great insight, if that is possible, into the life of a loved one suffering from dementia.10. (Report) Reply

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  • (5/12/2010 10:01:00 AM)

    This poem was written in June of 2008 upon hearing that my mother was being admitted to a psychiatric hospital due to rapid onset of dementia. She was 85 years old and had been so proud of her sharp mind and quick with. Losing her memories was the one thing she had feared most about growing old. I wrote this as I waited to board a plane to go and be by her side. Mom lived for 6 more months, but she was never her old self. :) (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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