In Case of Dementia

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2011

I’m the old man with dementia who
used to be an author.
I wrote this before all that happened. I was
terrified

that the books I’ve collected might
still be where they are, neglected,
stained with stale coffee by weary sons
too dry-eyed to read.

Carers now urge me to rhyme as
I did, as if I could, and loved ones
suffer,

pushing back their lives, putting up with
mine and their passive aggression
(as they know I would for them if
I could). Wishing I would die as

now they mouth ‘thanks’
to a carer, or a lover with a petrified smile,
trying to help. Let this do
for memories.

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