Black Holes


This is an abridged version of my poem, Black Holes in the Brain, showing the effects of Alzhiemer’s disease on a person. During the stressful transition from independent living to confined living the confusion for my father-in-law was greatly increased. I posted his Wandering/Wonderings earlier this week.

Bjorn from d’Verse~Poets Pub asked us to consider the use of punctuation in poetry. It helps shoe line breaks and increases flow for the reader. This one is full of punctuation. It was written four years ago after working through this difficult transition.

Black Holes In My Brain

“I have come to discover that I now have black holes in my brain.
Spaces of emptiness that never get filled.
Like the holes in my pants pocket the memories slip out…”

“Oh, you are here? Well I didn’t realize! When did you get here?
You have been here a few weeks? Well I didn’t remember.
Tell me something I should know…
What shall we talk about…”

“Can I do something for you… do you need a light on?
Would you like to watch the News if I turn it on?
Do you want me to set the table for breakfast?
Can I help you in some way?
Would you like a piece of chocolate? Go ahead have one!”

“Is this Sunday? Are we going to church today?
Where is Mother & when is she coming home?
She won’t be coming back home? Oh my!
These are things I should remember.
When will we go to see here again? Can we go today?
We were there today?
Why can’t I remember? Were we just there today?!”

“I remember my grandfather was just like this.
He would apologize for his memory all the time.
I hope I never get that way.”

“By the way, where is Mother?


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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Note: This evening, after this had posted, we got word that he had died.


The Blessing of Now and Then


Losing your mind may have an upside. For those with dementia or Alzheimer’s the gradual loss of memory seems like a sad thing. Being confined to a locked facility to us would seem like prison. But to an Alzheimer’s patient whose memory is failing, they may not worry about such things any longer. The fact that my father-in-law does not remember that his wife died may be more of a blessing than a curse. All they have is the now!  I believe it is our job to help make their now the best it can be. Living in the present and remembering the distant past is all some of them have left.

         The Blessing of Now and Then

Time creeps in and steals our yesterdays

Remembering the days of youth as clear as a bell

But yesterday crawls quickly into its shell

Recalled no more a cup too full

Footprints in the aging surf

Lost forever in its tide


Memories dissolve into the present

Nothing else exists time is too short

Living now is all we have in the echo of the toll

Joy in the day people no longer hold us back

Every experience treasured in the receding tide

Feeling exhilarated not knowing why

Family and friend’s joy and sorrow let go without a thought

Immediately lost in the disappearing foot prints of time

Photos: Dwight L. Roth