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Syndic Literary Journal

Poetry/Reading: Alzheimers by Kate Mullikin

Alzheimers: Poetry/Reading

by Kate Mullikin

Slideshow: Me & My Dad

Even If

Can’t make you come back.
Don’t know where you are,
Or how you got there so quickly.
You’re right here,
But you’re nowhere to be found.

You say I’m not me.
Well maybe I’m not right now
Because part of who I am is you,
And you’re gone.
Can’t make you come back.

I try to follow you,
Swallow my pain and pride
Be your angel,
Your keeper
Your guide
And since I can

I’ll be your daughter –

Even if you never come back.


It Might Be Nice

I can’t live my life
And die my father’s
At the same time.

It’s really not my business anyway.

His passing is precious and his own.
He never took his life for granted and
He will leave this planet at his own pace.

Why should I endeavor
To race about from home to him,
From him to work,
From work to home,
To him again,
When I know he would not be happy
If he were aware of my stress and strife?

Instead of obsessing on being present
For my father’s death,
It might be nice
If I could concentrate on being present
In my own life.


The Facts

The fact is.
I’m sad.
I’m sad cuz dad can’t move
And I can.
And I want to.
And I should –

Move out into the day
Out of his room,
Out of the role of feeder,
Greeter, comforter, worrier,

Not daughter though.
That will never go.

The fact is,
I am his child.

And he would say, If he could,
“Go out and play.”

And when I’d return he would ask,
“Did you have fun?”



Photographs quilt the bed,
Tie tacks line the room.
I didn’t arrive soon enough
To stop the madness today.

Slowly, gently, we peel off the layers.
Shirt, tie, sweater, shirt, tie, pajama top, tie.
I cringe at the thought of him spending
The rest of his life putting on and taking off
His clothes, but then again, they are
Sententious threads, sewn by my mother’s
Dearly departed hands.

Now we’re looking for the key
In the pockets of every coat,
In five pairs of pants,
In the medicine cabinet,
The empty cookie jar,
The inside of the back of the clock
Where the batteries used to be.

There is no time for us now.
Just moments of found frustration,
And profound joy.

We are absolutely late for church again,
But we go any way,
And parade straight down the center aisle
To the very front.

Even though all other thoughts are strewn today –
My father still remembers how to pray.

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Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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