Sunday, March 25, 2012


Awesome Photo By Kat Mortensen


He could fish…he knew he could remember how to do that
But he couldn’t recall the reflection of the ceiling fan in her watery brown eyes
Or the way she liked him sweaty during sex, head and shoulders, knees and toes
She called him Frank when she came to visit, he had no memory of Frank
But at that moment she smelled like vanilla and kissed his neck, plate of snicker doodles
For now, he was Frank at least for one more warm kiss, familiar

He could fish…if he could just remember where he put his damn fishing poles
Maybe they were in the truck, where was his truck, he needed his keys
The bird on the sill asked him to play cards, maybe he could play cards
Where were his cards, maybe in his other pants, maybe someone stole them
There was no room in his head for two thoughts, when one entered, the other dripped
The intellectual playground too full to play kickball, we should sit on the steps

He could fish…the shores of the lake lapped beside his hospital bed nightly
But he didn’t have the right kind of bait and he needed his shirt or he would burn
A mermaid swam to him and sang beside his bed and he asked about his poles
She kissed him and gave him rum and went to look, he floated on lily pads
On shore he talked with the great blue heron, the bird looked sternly at him
You can fish, he said, I know you can, but where are your fishing poles?    


  1. Sweet, poignant, and heartbreaking...this made me cry. Very well written!

  2. ooooh god my big heart just broke.

  3. Very lovely write....I love the details of forgetting and remembering ~

    I love it~

  4. This hits me so hard. Although the story is different it was my mom. Her alzheimer's was so heartbreaking...those flashes when she remembered me and then to watch her face as she forgot. You have written such a moving piece.

  5. Poles...we don't need no stinkin poles, esse.
    I'll be gone on business for a smell, West Des Moines here I come. I look forward to seeing what brilliance you have posted in my absence. Thanks for reading my poem-noir this week. In a few months time, I might have it all together and presentable.

    viva la

  6. Way to hit it out the ball-park and have us all sobbing in the aisles!!! Sheesh, this was hard-core, as a portrait of old age must be when written in a way the reader can recognize, and fear for her/himself. That last stanza is nothing short of brilliant, with the river lapping against his bed. And only the blue heron understands his plight of loneliness and loss of memory.

  7. This rings true particularly for me, heretofore.
    My father died in Nov. 2008, and he had Parkinson's
    And dementia. The line about the truck and the keys, and the idea of
    the missing pants is bang on! We heard that often enough.
    I nodded my head through you entire piece, but you have also graced
    this with amazing beauty and reverence. I am awed.

    Please read my poem "In Dementia" on my blog, if you get the chance.

    Thanks for taking my image to another level.

  8. My iPod ate my lengthy comment, so I'll be back ltr!

  9. Damn, this one hurts. Brilliantly done.

  10. Lovely and painful, but I was transported. Thanks.

  11. it took nine months to get here. but we leave through a variety of doors, some tight at a bullet, some vast and loud as victoria falls, sometimes it's so long we don't know we're leaving...i found you cowboy

  12. This is so wonderfully written, like being right inside the head of someone who knows this situation very well. I, too, loved the water lapping around his bed, and the heron. Best thing I read today.

  13. You've captured the confusion, the sort of unmoored inward grasping that age must sometimes induce. I felt bad for him. But at least he is visited by a mermaid, and that can only be a good thing.

  14. Sad but lovely. Still loved in spite of the fact he doesn't have a memory of that. And, yes, he fishing is something he can do, if only he had those fishing poles.