She is forgetting Says the neighbor At first gently And then using stronger language Of love Of concern. Bills are unopened. She is confused. She should not drive. She is not safe Says the neighbor At first gently and then with panic. She left the burner on. She will trip and fall. She cannot tell time. She cannot remember. I am fine She says. This is my home. I do not want to move. At first gently and then using stronger language Of denial Of resistance. I am fine She says. The neighbor is helping me. This is my home. I do not want to move. At first gently and then with panic. Don’t take me away. The dear friends said at first She is just a little forgetful. We will take care of her. We’ll get her groceries, bring her meals. At first gently and then using stronger language. But the friends cannot pay the bills Or sort through insurance Even the dearest friends could not have Managed the strokes that came The psychosis The terror. They could not have navigated the paperwork for a specialized memory care unit. She is not so bad, they said. They did not see her naked And howling. We will do what is best for you. We say At first gently And then with stronger language. We will do what’s best for you As if we know what that is. Is being safe The best for you Or is it a prison What would I want I ask myself At first gently and then with despair. What would I want? There are no good answers. Only trying. Trying and tears. Only love. Love and grief.
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Great poem, very topical.
I wonder what I will be like if someone suggests I leave my home. I'm sure I would be belligerent and quite rebellious. And what of these facilities? Are they ready for Boomers? How will they handle our rock music, vegetarian diets, and many other diet preferences? No, the only way they'll get me out of my house is if I am totally incoherent.
I can hear the conversations as I read this...such a sad, but predictable sequence. Powerful..thank you..