She wakes in a mood—dark and distant,
hissing from the crumbling corridors of
a mind she no longer commands,
like a conductor unable to raise the baton,
and so the music falters.
She strikes at me with fists of rage
and searing epithets, but soon her mind will
draw its shade and she’ll forget, and yet,
she’ll know instinctively to say “I’m sorry”
for words she cannot recall.
How stealthy the shift from healthy to a wasteland
of unkempt hair and incontinence, where no corner of dignity
is left unswept; how helpless we are against such tyranny.
She pounds her head in frustration at the merciless thief
who thwarts each grasp at clarity— a robber of rational thought
who leaves behind a tangled web of sticky strings.
Anguished tears pool behind my eyes as I watch her
slump in a chair that swallows her— this formless sack,
riffling through her empty purse, searching for
the lost part of herself. Ineffable sadness shadows me
as I mark her evanescence, like rings of smoke fading
ungracefully into the void.