To My Grandma With Alzheimer’s

To My Grandma With Alzheimer’s

Sipping morning coffee; every day holds the same;
Age-old wrinkled eyes pour ceaselessly over the ‘Mirror’;
Repeating insignificant words, and phrases;
Chanting them like a mantra,
Hoping it will stir some fragment of understanding; some clarity.
Grasping at straws, struggling to make sense of her world.

They were once bright,
Beheld her surroundings in all their vivid colours
Now dimmed, fading away
Gradually turning faces out of focus, blurring them out
Like a camera losing its touch.

Her hearing is just as bad
Imagines music in the haunting quiet
Whispers to the walls, and watches over cold corpses on the bare floor.
Some nights, the whispers turn to screams
Panic sets in and pierce the dark with its shrill sharp resonance
Unable to distinguish dreams from reality.

Her memory follows her eyes
And all that’s left are
Decrepit relics of what was and used to be
Crumbling, barely held together by the seams.
Dives into the burrows of her mind, unearths
A threat of recollection or a fleeting vision of reality;
Before it mockingly slips out of her grasp, sinks into the chaos and
Sends her back aeons, frustrated and desperate.

She has her good days.
Calls us by name, savours the food,
And remembers to thank the cook.
Lost in a reverie.
Others are slow, exhausting
Dazed, drowned out in a drugged sleep
Or stumbles across the hallway, fervently searching for an era
Lost in the mazes of time.
Entire worlds rush past her in a
Turbulent whirlpool until she collapses into a heap
The night encloses her in darkness
Only to rinse and repeat the next day
Tipping closer and closer to the edge
No escape, no escape.

And the rest of us
Heart in our hands, half-mad ourselves
Stand by as it claims a victim
In the woman we loved.
What we can do is watch.
All we can do is watch.

-Rtr. Acsah Kulasingham

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