203. Aware versus Able

Every evening

I ask you,

“How was your day?”

I don’t expect you

To answer;

You never do.

Last night,


I phrased my question

A different way;

I wanted to know 

What you

And Vickie

Did that day.

I asked 


I never do, 

I queried you—

“Do you remember?”

Time passed;

I let it go. 

You seemed troubled.

Your husband asked,

“What’s the matter darling?”

You answered—


I’m just trying 

To think

And it’s giving me

A hard time.”

Who can’t relate 

To that? 

I contemplate the difference 

—the interconnection between—

Your conscious


Your cognitive 


Your verbal 


Does your illness

Affect all three?

I know

I can’t

Always find 

The word I want

When I want it,

But I know

The meaning

I’m searching for.

Is it that way?

Do you know—

But can’t say? 

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.