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Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Dementia National Anthem

In a dream with my Mother
She's being secretive
by not telling me
where she wants to go
Finally I tell her
that if she doesn't tell me
I'll have to take her
to the hospital
since I'm the person
who takes her everywhere
She wants to go
to Custer, South Dakota
Why I ask
because the Rockefellers
Do you know any I ask

I wake up in the dream
from the dream
to tell everybody
about the dream
from which I just awakened
I then wake up
to think about the times
Mother fell or fought with me
about the time she called
the Sheriff
because she didn't know me
When the deputy arrives
she becomes the perfect hostess
all forgotten
why he was called

I sat with her for ten years
to keep her from wandering
I carry her dementia
around my waist
and in my mind
until the days
I'll no longer remember
who cares for me and why

There is no Olympic event
for caretakers
No medals
of gold silver or bronze
even from family
We are weightlifters
standing on the dark podium
in an empty stadium
on a cold starless night
holding a bunch
of crumbling flowers
watching an instant playback
of our victory
our great moment of success
that replays
the months and years
of our preparation
for this moment
described by an announcer
who doesn't know
where she is
who she is
what's happening
or why
Rockefellers go to Custer

Barry G. Wick

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