By Ann Fowler
Unformed words wait for birth inside a time
wisdom processed and expressed, profound uttering.
If I, the poet, could form sentences to separate my
life from his,
place disjointed lessons in stanzas or make
something beautiful of pain,
then I could begin to find who I have become during
the dying process of yesterday and tomorrow.
The monster, Alzheimer’s, slithered lazily into our
sat unfed during the long winter, watched his victim
through half-closed eyes,
stroked his fears with his tongue. Delusions
began. Memory lessened.
My love inched away from me and sat on the monster’s
Then the feeding. Slowly at first. I saw
him slip inside the monster’s jaws.
I screamed, “Do not leave me.”
He told monster tales- his parents sleeping in our
the return of children and voices speaking form
I watched him struggle against the monster’s
the possession complete, death so far away.
Swallowed whole his bulk swelled the belly of the
I was left with the creature.
Something in the creature’s smile reminded me of a
who fed squirrels, rode free on a motorbike through
Florida orange groves,
knew the forest trees by name, studied the stars,
made love to me
and to the whole of his existence
So I stayed. I listened for his laugh.
I care for the disease,
loved and stroked the lump which represented my
I tended the pain and endured the ranting.
I laid beside the monster at night
and awakened to confusion in the wee hours of the
I forgot who I am.
Surely this is so, because I once knew words.Words
are who I am.