Breadcrumb #472


My mother was at her neurologist
being tested for dementia
and Alzheimer’s.

This is a poem in broken fragments.

My mother keeps leaving Styrofoam cups
of water lying around the house. Everywhere
you can find these white truncated cones
of tiny oceans waiting for her lips.

At the neurologist, they asked her
to draw a clock. She drew a cross.
Yes mother, we are all crucified
by time. You are a poet in picture,
you are a poet in rhyme. You were
my first clock.

Now you tell time
I am ready to go.

You don’t.

But I try to find you anyway.
You have left a map. A trail
of breadcrumbs shaped like
Styrofoam cups. All over.

“Make sure they don’t stop the Lorazepam,”
my mother says to the neurologist.

Lorazepam is used for the treatment of anxiety
but she gets that from her psychiatrist
not her neurologist. It also causes memory loss
and impairs judgment and coordination.

An estuary is
where a river’s current
meets the sea’s tide.

It connects the river to the sea.

The neurologist asked her,
“What’s today’s date?”

She says, “November 23rd, 1948.”

That is my mother’s birthday.

No estuary here.

This is a poem in broken fragments.

Her right hand shakes
more than her left
to keep her body

She remembers how to spell her name
but has trouble writing it down.

It’s that damned clock again.

My mother reminds the neurologist
of the Lorazepam again. She can’t wait
to bring that tiny ocean to her lips

where the river’s current
meets the seas’ tide.

That is where she wants to be now
amongst all this Styrofoam
floating down the river
into a sea of everything

but her.

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