The memories I carry get slimmer by the day
but you, oh, Drawer, have found a way
to fix in my mind yesterday’s past;
you hold in your walls the first and the last
places I visited, the people I saw
the work that I did, like mopping the floor.
A note on your flushed face reminds me to pull
your stainless steel handle, and see, now you’re full
of notelets and photos, bus tickets, receipts;
a comfort to remember what I had to eat
down at the café, the one by the beach
with girls I once worked with when I used to teach.
I look at the photo of ‘bangers’* and mash
and even a print of the Queen on her cash
with a sentence, hand written, by whom I don’t know
describing the day as ‘a sky full of snow’.
Each girl has a label, Sarah, Martha and Jane,
But that’s going too far! Do they think I’m insane?
That I couldn’t remember the best of my friends
Well, my dear drawer, this is really the end!
Your MDF faces can slide shut on the rails.
Let’s hope for your sake that lucidity prevails!
© Jacqui Thatcher 2015
* bangers = a colloquial term for sausages
An Ode-ish work, and a little bit of apostrophe! Sometimes, I feel too close to the work just completed and can not look at it in terms of what it is, so I will leave the reader to judge for me!
Though a first draft (and I would normally leave such things to mature in a drawer for many months), I am pleased with the idea that this drawer stores all the important, recent memories for a person in the early stages of dementia. It is a lifeline – maybe that needs working in there somehow?
I have witnessed several people who have suffered this terrible disease; memory prompts are vital for the person to maintain their link between today and yesterday for it is often the short term that fails first, as well as the ability to remember names.
I have put a link on my blog for anyone who would like to find out more information about Alzheimers or dementia.