190. Feeding You

Feeding you

Is a practice

In patience.

When you say 

Yes

You’d like a bite

To eat

You might mean

No.

When you say

NO!

You’re liable

To open 

Your lips

And accept

Another mouthful. 

You chew

A thousand times—

Pause,

And chew 

Some more. 

Three forkfuls in,

Then on the fourth

You snarl

“I told you

When I walked in

The door

That I don’t like it.”

“You did?”

I suggest

That sometimes

We still eat

What we don’t love.

Indignant,

You tell me,

“I beg your pardon

But I don’t eat

What I don’t like

And I’m sure you don’t—

Hokey pokey.”

I hand the fork

To your husband

And you 

Open your mouth 

For him.

Two more bites

And when your hands

Push his away,

He passes the fork

To me. 

Another bite

Then you glare

And declare,

“I’m going to rat on you

I’m telling you right now.”

I ask who to?

And you reply,

“I don’t know

But I’ll figure it out.”

I say okay,

Raise the fork 

To your lips—

You open wide.

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.