State of Dementia

You wake without your passport
in a foreign city:
jet-lagged, not sure of
the day, the time.
You have the wrong clothes,
the wrong money.
You do not know the language,
the way to go home.

On the street, people rush about,
busy, important.
They jabber over your head.
You need a bathroom,
don’t know how to ask
in this tongue.
You have to
live here now.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years 3 months ago
I love this poem.  It so clearly highlights the experience of an elderly person's steady decline in ability to just get through the simple parts of the day.  I can see this happening to my 89 year old mom with whom we live.  My mom was always a somewhat "spacey" person, so not all of her meaderings are attributable to age and I must confess to sometimes losing patience in my heart.  But this poem brought me back to a place of deeper respect and patience.  It's a little jewel of a poem.  Thank you!

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Democrats, and the Republicans who understand Dreamers are owed protection, could take a lesson from people of color around the country in how to navigate a political process tainted by racism. The lives of 800,000 Dreamers depend on it.
Antonio De Loera-BrustJanuary 22, 2018
“Separating fathers from families has been going on for a while. But now, even mothers are being separated from their children.”
J.D. Long-GarcíaJanuary 22, 2018
“I ask forgiveness,” the pope said on his flight from Lima to Rome. “It’s a hurt [caused] without wishing it.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 22, 2018