151. You Can Be a Real Pill

Your husband gave you

Your pill;

You spit it out

And grinned.

He asked you 

“What’s the grin about?”

You told him—

“I got one up on you.”

I asked you

“Are you ready

For this pill;

It’s an important one

It keeps you 

From coughing.”

You said,


Then added—

“But anyone else

Who would like it

Can have it.” 

I’m on the ipad


To your husband

Plead with you


To take your pills. 

As tired of hearing

The same lines

As we grow 

From saying them,

You snap—

“Then Page says

This is the 

La-s-s-s-s-t one;

Well, Phhhh!”

And then again

This morning,


On a theme,

Your husband asks


“Lesley, have you taken

Your pills yet?”

You tell him,


But I’ve thought a lot

About it.”

Your husband suggests

You take them,

And I weigh in 


You don’t—

“Will both of you all 

Go to—”

You pause

Searching for the word—

“South America.” 

Your husband

Looks at me,

I look at him,

And we agree—

South America

Sounds great. 

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.