136. Refusing Love

I went to the Amish market

And the produce stand

Gathering ingredients

You once enjoyed.

I tell you my plans 

To make spareribs,


And a fresh peach pie.

You tell me—

“You can put 

Whatever you like

In front of me

But it doesn’t mean

I’ll open my mouth.”

How well I know this.

At 84 pounds 

And vanishing


I cook—

Not to sustain 

Your life,

But to nourish

Your soul. 

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.