108. Slow Food

“Here it comes,

Open up.”

Your husband 

Feeds you

Most meals—

An exercise 

In patience.

With good humor

He shares his 

Running commentary,

“It only took 

Four tries,

But we got it,

Not to worry.”

He asks again

If you are ready 

For a bite of egg;

You tell him

Your stomach

Has been

Belly-whopped.

Without missing a beat

He tells you

Your smoothy

Is the best remedy

For a stomach

That’s been

Belly-whopped.

I concur—

You don’t.

“You lie,

She lies;

You all lie.”

He raises 

A new bite to your lips.

“It’s very helpful 

When you open 

Your eyes

And your mouth;

Can you multitask?”

You protest—

“Mary! 

Get that dead chicken

Off of me.”

He assures you 

It’s not the chicken,

It’s the egg

And asks again

If you are ready 

For another bite.

“Yeah, sure.”

And so it goes—

You chew

And chew

And chew;

Eyes closed,

While he hovers

A new forkful

Patiently waiting

To begin the process

All over.

The Poetry of Dementia is an ongoing project to share my family’s journey with my mother’s illness as a year of moments. We do not know whether my mother will live a full year—or perhaps she’ll live longer. Her dementia has been a bittersweet and beautiful journey that has already taken us places we never imagined. Loving and caring for her at home has fundamentally changed each of us, and daily reminds us to live in the present with love, trust and patience. Click here to read from the beginning.