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.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Our father died peaceful at home, with my brother Lon holding his hand, as dad took his last breath. On Christmas Eve we brought him to Kaiser hospital in Terra Linda and we spend the next three days at his bedside before they allowed us to take him home to die. The poem, “IV,” takes place during those days.

In going through our father’s papers I found a note he had written about growing up in Oklahoma.

“My earliest memories are of our farm in Blair. We lived in a two-room house. The ‘bathroom’ consisted of a one-hole out-house, and for Saturday nights, a large washtub. There were no kids living close by so I mostly played alone. My game of choice was pretending the tumbleweeds were cattle and I would chase them on a stick horse and rope them with a heavy cord. I would then drag them back to the barn and put them in the corral. With the Oklahoma wind always blowing this quite a job.”

The morphine on your breath
Could make a grown man dizzy.

His hands on my shoulders,
he helps to lift himself up.
IV stand, maypole ribbons
of tube and power cord.
We step, step, stop,
step, step, steady,
our way to the toilet,
rolling the stand after us.
He can sit up on his own,
I give him a moment.
Snap on surgical gloves,
gently clean him.
Reverse our papa waltz,
lay him down to rest.

Trying to look busy,
listening for his death.

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