Memory Care

jdb photo

Memory Care

I’m tumbling backwards into silence.
My words have lost their spark.
When I seek enlightenment,
I’m only met by dark.

When I try to pick a theme, 
my thoughts quickly retreat.
Looking for a place to rest,
they rarely find a seat.

Where do memories go to 
when they cannot find a door—
when there’s no exit for them, 
and there’s no room for more?

Does our memory simply melt
starting with today
so the things that we remember
are only yesterday?

Do we wander empty corridors
or is our distant past
our favorite thing to think about
so they’re the thoughts that last?


I’ve been thinking a lot about dementia lately, but no, I don’t feel I’m describing myself in this poem. I am, however, trying to put myself in my sister Betty’s place to try to figure out what might be going through her mind…or what in her mind she might be going through. Certainly, we all have enough memories stored to entertain ourselves for life, and perhaps as we run out of room it is the last memories, more seldom thought of, that vanish first, leaving us with a rich inner world we are loath to leave. I hope this is true, or that we go back to a state of consciousness similar to where an infant exists before it is born, listening to the mystery of outside sounds and wondering where we are going to fit into them. Without words, are there thoughts? Unfortunately, not all mysteries are solved.

Prompts today were spark, pick, silence and backward. Here are links:

10 thoughts on “Memory Care

  1. koolkosherkitchen

    Unfortunately, nobody knows “where memories” go, as dementia is largely mysterious, on brain functioning level. As sad as it is to watch someone who has it, they themselves seem to be doing just fine and stay happy, as long as they are not reminded that they are deficient in some ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    While I was researching my “Bridge” post, there was an article on why Bridge is so good for we older folks. It’s an entirely memory focused game. You need to remember what you are playing (suit, number, who bid what), how many of each suit have been played … and you can’t forget or you’ll do something like overplay your partner’s ace, which are grounds for hanging. So I got a little freebie bridge game for playing online and I was astonished at how AWFUL I was. I’m not demented either, though many of my elderly relatives were before they passed — and Garry’s mother, too. But my memory IS slipping quite a lot. Writing helps. Photography doesn’t. I think it doesn’t use much memory — it’s all very graphic and that’s not fading. But Bridge — well — even playing against the computer (who isn’t a very good player, I should add!) — is beginning to help. I can at least usually remember what the bid is and what suit we are in and who is playing and who is defending. In the beginning, I couldn’t remember anything.

    So we are all fighting the memory game. I think the first thing we all lose is “Who IS that? How come he knows me?”



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