Dementia: Inside the Looking Glass

My father died from dementia. I wrote this poem to commemorate his struggle and try to give some insight as to how he felt going through it.

I recognized the resurrection in the glass.

Hair still white, bald on top

Shinny as a cue ball.

Can’t remember his name,

But it was my buddy there

In the glass, just like last night.

So frustrating- one word for another,

One face for another, running water names.

The one in the glass now infuriates me-

“What have you done with Buddy?”

He won’t answer, won’t leave

My anger smashes him.

Glass tinkles into the sink.

A cloud wraps around

Everything disappears in grey.

All is lost for moments

Lost, lost, lost.

Want my mother now-

Fog thins leaving me confused

With a string in my hand

Tied to a wonderful colored balloon.

Looking at the balloon is

Seeing me from the outside.

My fingers tighten on the string

But it slips out floating away.

Wind blows, balloon flies

String just out of reach

Feeling like I’m fading,

I jump, nearly grab it.

Wind blows and I chase

Run, run, run!

Across high rocky places

Run! Run! Run!

Suddenly stop at rocky edge

Where down is long with no bottom.

Colored balloon flies on slowly

Getting smaller, smaller

As I feel smaller, smaller.

And the fog returns.

A hundred years later

An unfamiliar voice knifes through the wall:

“Are you OK?”

My body twitches, electrified, but

My eyes see again

Opening to slivers of glass in the sink

Splattered with red

And a dozen Buddies

Each staring at me from inside.

Leave a Comment