Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"She's welcome to her disease":_Stanzas in Meditation_ at the Alzheimer's home

Stanzas in Meditation I

[Television on. Background music.]

WATSH! WATSH! Where's my watsh?

Mom pushes the inhaler away.
Mom pushes the Ensure away.
Mom sits next to P, without the loving lean of P & G, yesterday.

P: "I'm fine. I'll wawawa dyu unnnnnn." She starts to cry.

"That makes me happy because lulu. Lulu, yes
I hope it's my father where it's cuz you kids don't have to be like that.
My back hurts: a little old lady that's me.
You wad it you dad it you got it you dat.
These are beautiful things.
I think it's perfect good,
if that's what we're getting it at [$5 off].
Turn him around you could get them back
because we need them; she wanted to was
helping fine with us help us, you don't have
too much it'll come.
I see it's over dere dere or not,
I just don't have a rose
because I might break it.
You done good
Your station but you're good
were nice were; I bet she's
welcome to her disease.
$5 off $25; where I going?"

"She's wagging in her tail
and she was feeling bad."

G. sucks on the black cloth foot of her doll with striped socks.


G. chews on doll's foot.
"I'll lie down & this is so good this is so good
& bound to feel that way."

n n n n n n n n n
a a a a a a a a a a" [sound up, sound down]

G: "It's one lake that came out."

J: "This lady is a good lady, can't pretend.
Things have to be good. All ready for good people."
[Walks around the room, pats everyone on the arm.]

P: H H H H H A A H A A A A

G: "I have to take this table and shout!
We can read now!" [drops doll by dress to floor, falls asleep]



N: "Barbie Barbie / Barbie Barbie / Barbie Barbie / (goes into the dining room) /
Barbie Barbie / Barbie Barbie / Barbie Barbie / etc."

P. gets up, shuffles, does a slow circular dance, trips on G's shoe, falls.


Dinner time. Only Martha refuses to move to the dining room. She watches
Leonardo di Caprio promise the Irish vote to the Sheriff. She will not move.

She will not move for B.
She will not move for Susan.
She will not move for the young African man.
She will not move for R.
She will not move for E.
She will not move for Susan.

Susan and Martha sit in the television room.
Martha wants her to go away.
Martha waves her arm when anyone comes near.
Leave Martha alone.
She will come later or she will not come at all.

R tells E to tell Susan to leave the room.
It's Susan's visit. She's never this angry. She always comes, if not
at first, then the second time you reach out for her hands.

B gets her into the dining room.
You can come back now.


G: "If you can go home, then grant it is!"

S comes to see his mother.
"You open da stoah?"
He doesn't have a store.
"You didn't open da stoah?"

F: "Not long, but over 7.
What do they put outside.
When people asked information,
They'd know it in opposition.
And that might we put on the was
a cover, he liked doing it too.
A bit from the door, so people
could cast away, he's resting him
causing him if he got ready.
He had one of the other
give a test one of the girls--
he dropped her on the floor
and it was me.

It's ok. The only time I talked to him.

Not against but sort of
they were having a good time
a nice church, he pays attention"

G: "Under my rough.
If you give her Laos, invilleagable."


A scream.
J has fallen.
"Get up!"

"Oh G O D [screams]"
Her head is bleeding.
"Oh God I'm dead.
I don't want to go
Oh I'm DEAD.
Oh God please help me."

"It's too late now."

Get off my god damn"

P: "againagainagainagainagainagain."

S: "She didn't fall.
She was in somebody's room.
I don't know what happened.
What happened?"

An old woman is crying. (She always cries.)
She does not live in this lane.
Through her empty mouth she utters gutterals.
"Was ist los?"
"Menschen . . . Haus."
I walk her to her lane. She is crying. She is speaking
in words that sound German.
I knew I studied college German for a reason.
She is Dutch, I'm told.
Her memory box full of family smiles.
She is crying when I leave.


I tell Mom I am leaving.
"For good?"


Malaika said...

Oh these are deadly powerful. I didn't go home this past weekend to see my mom. Sometimes I need more than I hav,e and sometimes I have more than I need. Thank yo,u Susan.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written... So vivid I can touch and feel it to the bone.
So sad and gut-wrenching...
True; the truth of pain that is Dementia and loss-
Expressed so eloquently as only you can.

Thinking of you.

Fondly and Huge Aloha,