A Dimming Mind

My grandmother is nearly 97.

In many ways, she is a lovely person – but at the same time, she has held on to so much of her timidity and worry about life that she has little left at this point. She had to be a strong person when she was younger, and she went through hardships. Sometimes she did everything without a husband to help her, including raising eight kids.

She’s fairly deep in dementia now, and I find it sad to see how so much of her good memories have gone and how she focuses on her worries more than her joys. I think of her when I need a reason to be positive. And I write her letters, so she knows she’s not forgotten. I want to lay up such a store of positive, empowering thoughts that when I am old it will still be there to sustain me, and my twilight will be a good one. In a way, I wrote this bit of free verse for her.



the ebbing mind

slips from its moorings

set adrift

without fanfare

a remnant of bitter flavor

acrid on the tongue

memories flow and ripple

through clutching mental fingers

nothing left

to satisfy that need

for steady ground on which to stand

-Rohvannyn Shaw