BellaOnline Literary Review
The King and I by Karen Sorbello


Dad´s Alzheimers (Poem for ´Claus´)

Karen Hart Tillquist

There will be no remission
For him, there´ll be no cure,
No joyous survivor,
Ribbon on his shirt.

Catastrophic illness
A holocaust in kind
Photographs remain intact
The memory, strip mined.

Laughter still contagious
The grip remains as strong,
Sixth Grade speech effortless,
Children´s names often gone.

Visits share hugs and laughter
Tears help close the door,
Brief update on current events
Then stories about The War.

Good mood ever present,
He works hard to engage
Re-reads the funny papers
Never turning the page.

Chance meeting at a bookstore
The warm familiar place
I am his middle child
He did not know my face.

Bittersweet melancholy
Travels from head to heart,
How strange and sad to miss my Dad
While sitting chairs apart.

"Father-words" and stories
Alive within my head,
I share them with daughters now
Like sweet morsels of bread.

His portrait doesn’t reveal,
Mirrors cannot reflect,
The slow steady progression
Of altered intellect.

How cruel is this disease,
Disassembling from within,
Leaves no trace of evidence
For mirror or the skin.

The Porch Light of my Father´s soul
Shines with a brilliant light,
Oh! Why THIS man chosen?
How can this be right?

In his soul, pray he´s aware
Of love for him we cherish
In our hearts ~ our memories
The man we love won´t perish.

He has given precious gifts
We´re richer for receiving
Gifts reborn in daughters and sons
A legacy he’s leaving.

Why place loss on paper now?
Find solace in the belief,
There’s neither starting gun
Nor deadline for the grief.

God Bless this Heart so giving
Not keeping track or score,
Raised his family ~ Lived life well
Deserving now, of more.

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