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Alzheimers Victim

Cassie is a certified teacher who has worked in education and mental health fields. She is also a skilled poet with an English degree.

Alzheimer’s Victim

It wouldn’t matter if they reached their latex hands

Down her throat and yanked out whatever’s left

She ends the same.

They smile as they stand there stiffly

Perfect white coats, almost pretending to care.

“We’ll medicate her and keep her comfortable.”

We’ll help her die.


She lives in a building on the rich side of town.

Visiting hours, greeted by nurses with fake smiles and clipboards.

Morphine happy victims and shops with


pink teddy bears and singing Hallmarks

Where a mother takes her 3-year-old and says,

“This will make grandma better.”

Kid doesn’t know there’s a room with Grandma’s name

in the morgue with the other empty bodies.

Black arrows on the ceiling won’t tell how to get there.

Emergency. X-ray. Surgery. ICU. Reserved.

For those who still have something.


alzteimers-victim

I walk in the other direction to find her

Lying with those who have nothing.

I go to her room and wonder if she is as cold as she looks.

She is, but she doesn’t know. I know.


I reach out to touch her bony fingers.

5 icicles ready to snap.

I look through her eyes into the hollow body where

she used to live. Un-brushed hair, mangled nest of grey.

She doesn’t remember her hair

Or me.


She used to call me “the girl.”

Now she doesn’t know the difference between

That little black bird outside her window

and me. Both of us are strangers.


Shallow breaths go on. She could choose no life

or she could choose to die.

I gave up searching that face and let the icicles slip away.


© 2020 Cassie Gildert

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