This blog will be a place to post poetry written by people living with Alzheimer's disease. We will focus on poetry that is created as part of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project. We will post information and news about dementia. We hope this blog is of use to the family members who have a loved one with dementia.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cutting Sign

Our father began his career in law enforcement as a Border Patrol agent in Texas in 1957. One story he tells about that time is how a Texas Ranger named Jim Nance traded his 44 Colt revolver for my toy pistol, putting it in my holster and letting me run up to my mother to show her my "new" gun.

This poem is based on the description my father told me about "cutting sign," the technique of Border Patrol agents use to track people.

Cutting Sign

You can tell a lot by how they walk.
If they’re lost, tired, scared,
the feet circle, drag, scatter.
You can tell their weight,
if they are a man, woman, or child.

Here’s a trick, sweep
a dry creek bed with a branch,
gives you fresh signs.
See how many you got.

If they have been walking in the sun,
short steps trace the heat right to them.
If they have been walking at night,
they break brush, unless there’s a moon.

Once, I saw the outline of knees
ground into the dirt
like crawling or praying.

1 comment:

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