Friday, March 12, 2010

Unexpected Poetry

“Stupid things happen to old people.”

My Mom

We took a ride to the lake, which now looks like a lake instead of the snaky wide river it resembled last year after a few years of drought.
It’s a fun drive (at least for me, the driver) as the road winds through the oaks and pastures out to the lake. We parked out there on a hill overlooking the water, and the three of us walked and talked, son, daughter, and mother.

Talking with someone who has dementia is like riding a horse that hurdles fences. Strange leaps of subject matter at regular intervals keep you on your toes. Down this avenue; UP IN THE AIR. Down that avenue; UP IN THE AIR. OOPS, a little wobble there.
It was interesting watching my brother try to follow Mom’s leaps.
Mom: “I have an image…oh, we were there…and it must have been when Jim came…”
Brother: “Jim who?”
Mom: “Who?”
Brother: “Who was Jim?”
Mom: “It was so…relieving.”
Brother: “Was it Jim ---- ?”
Mom: “Who was it?”
Who’s on second….
A field on the way to the lake

Here’s a silly Sappho fragment, if anyone wants to try a hand at writing a poem that uses it as a title or a first line:
“gold anklebone cups”
Don’t feel inspired by that one? How about:
“you burn me”
Here’s Tupelo Press’s link to the Poetry Project—Fragments from Sappho contest. The deadline is March 31.


Mom walked past a boulder yesterday and said, “I was curious about that, but I couldn’t put water in it.”
Later she nudged a dried-up worm on the sidewalk with her toe and announced, “It’s done done.”
When the drive was done done, the aide and I coaxed her into the shower, which enraged her. After the ordeal, when she was dressed again, she said, “Stupid things happen to old people.”
Yes, they do, Mom.
I came home and wrote more Sappho poems.



Alan Burnett said...

Stupid things do happen to old people but if, like your mother, they are really lucky they have children to care for them. Not being able to put water into a boulder deserves a whole book of poetry to itself.

Collette said...

Amazing how things just come out of left field like that. Bless you & your brother for being there! (((HUGS)))

Karen said...

For all her confusion, she makes perfect sense in some ways. Stupid things happen, indeed.

Brian Miller said...

lol. at least it gives you smiles and chuckles along the way...

Anonymous said...

I like you so much for taking care of your mother like that!


Shadow said...

on the upside, these conversations are never boring!

Kim A. said...

Those are words of wisdom. Stupid things happen to me, too. Your day sounds like it was spent with people you love that love you. I hope you found some peace along the way. You are a loving, dear, talented daughter and your mom is blessed.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my Grandma when my Mom was lecturing her about all the sugar in the Captain Crunch that she loved, Grandma said, "I can't help it the sugar is already in there!"
Well, it's true!
God bless her and you.

Magpie said...

There are glimpses of clarity...
"It's done done" very true.
You're wonderful with your Mom and have such strength.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Prayer Girl said...

I can always relate when you talk about your mom's condition.

Your last picture looks like North Carolina, Tennessee, or Kentucky countryside. I know it's in California. There is so much beauty all over our country.


Syd said...

Your mother seems precious to me. I can feel the confusion as if her brain is wrapped in gauze and only a few things filter through. The last comment about stupid things is sad though. I guess stupid things happen to each of us, not just old people.

chitowngreg said...

Pretty striking moment of clarity! God bless you for spending the time and being there. Have a good weekend!!!

e said...

Your mother is right, and she is lucky to have such wonderful adult children. Strength and clarity are among the gifts of sobriety. It sound like you all had a wonderful day.

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

EO thanks for sharing. :)

Susan said...

There are always brief moments of clarity. Keep doing a great job and being there for her. She is very lucky to have you :)

~ Tabitha ~ said...

I have ever told you what an interesting person I think you are Enchanted? I mean,from what you blog about to who,your life sounds fully lived.Because even that tough stuff is worth it's value in poetry.

Thank you for this touching share..

Steve E said...

Never saw a machine which did not have a "life-expectancy" and they usually break down right after the warranty expires.

Maybe it is the same with our brain...

Bless you, your brother...and your mother!


Scott said...

your mom is blessed that you're there taking care... God Bless ya!