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To My Grandma with Alzheimers

Pandora's Diaries | Poem 

Sipping morning coffee; every day holds the same; 

Age-old wrinkled eyes pour ceaselessly over the ‘Mirror’; 

Repeating words, and phrases that hold no significance; 

Chanting them like a mantra, 

Hoping it will stir some fragment of understanding; some clarity. 

Grasping at straws, struggling to make sense of her world. 

The eyes once bright, beheld her surroundings in all their vivid colours

Now dimmed, fading away

Gradually turning faces out of focus, blurring them out

Like a camera losing its touch. 

Her hearing is just as bad 

Imagines music in the haunting quiet

Whispers to the walls, and watches over cold corpses on the bare floor. 

Some nights, the whispers turn to screams

Panic sets in and pierce the dark with its shrill sharp resonance

Unable to distinguish dreams from reality. 

Her memory follows her eyes

And all that’s left are 

Decrepit relics of what was and used to be

Crumbling, barely held together by the seams. 

Dives into the burrows of her mind, unearths 

A threat of recollection or a fleeting vision of reality; 

Before it mockingly slips out of her grasp, sinks into the chaos and 

Sends her back aeons, frustrated and desperate. 

She has her good days.

Calls us by name, savours the food,

And remembers to thank the cook.

Lost in a reverie.

Others are slow, exhausting

Dazed, drowned out in a drugged sleep  

Or stumbles across the hallway, fervently searching for an era

Lost in the mazes of time. 

Entire worlds rush past her in a 

Turbulent whirlpool until she collapses into a heap

The night encloses her in darkness 

Only to rinse and repeat the next day

Tipping closer and closer to the edge

No escape, no escape. 

And the rest of us 

Heart in our hands, half-mad ourselves

Stand by as it claims a victim

In the woman we loved. 

What we can do is watch. 

All we can do is watch.

By Acsah Kulasingham

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Pandora's Diaries



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