In honor of our loved ones who are slipping into the anonymous mists of dementia.
Lil, in particular, is astonishing in her tenacity to maintain a positive attitude and a deep sense of appreciation of her life and family while increasingly being unable to recall the “who”, “what” and “where” of each day. However, she has not and will not lose the “why”. It is in her spirit. Singing at the drop of a hat and saying “Thank you” to everyone she can she exemplifies enlightenment. I am in awe! She is in the moment – as the most reverend Buddhists aspire to be. This poem was written in 2013 when she still was able to tell me that she liked it.
These past years I have increasingly paused,
perplexed and unable to recall
Was I 55 or 56 already?
Doing the math of 1957 from 2013 proved another frustration
and so I shrugged and turned my mind back to the immediate task (“Where was I?”)
then, with a sigh, looked around for a way to climb
back onto my receding life
– just now pulling away from the train station
of the perfect, non-attached moment.
Leaving the enticing experience of the Now for Later,
I heft my not entirely familiar baggage
of increasing difficulty finding the right word
and smiling, I wave farewell to what’s his name
before taking a comfortable window seat.
Though I seem to have misplaced my ticket stub,
I expect to enjoy the scenery towards somewhere
while counting my blessings,
but I can’t help wondering,
in a distracted manner,
whether I missed one.
Collected Poems of Bradford S. Weeks