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 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

It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017
Forensic police work on the main road in Bidnija, Malta, which leads to Daphne Caruana Galizias house, looking for evidence on the blast that killed the journalist as she was leaving her home, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Caruana Galizia, a harsh critic of Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat, and who reported extensively on corruption on Malta, was killed by a car bomb on Monday. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)
Rarely does the death of a private citizen elicit a formal letter of condolence from the Pope.