Home » Spiritual Direction » Poetry in the Midst of Dementia

Poetry in the Midst of Dementia

Today was a difficult day. Many of the residents were not in good health. Two of them had bad falls. One, whom is very helpful and full of life and activity in spite of her dementia was have a difficult time staying awake. We have a staff member I do not trust whom some of the residents seem afraid. I fear why. So, I set and observed some of the residents I was caring for and they inspired these poems.

Sitting at the table
playing with a deck of cards
Not cards to him
But stories
What stories do these cards tell
I cannot know
His mind goes places in the past
Private places
Beyond the grasp of dementia
The cards only have meaning to him
Once a bright and brilliant man
now confined by a mental barrier
He did not expect
But does now accept
with a graciousness of charity
ingrained in a life of faith
trust and assurance
And now the cards tell stories
only he can understand 
What a good and sweet
Godly man

There is another resident. A woman, no two women, who walk. This is their poem.

Walking, walking, walking
but where does she go?
Around and around in a circle.
Is she searching?
Is she traveling"
Is she seeking for that 
    which is now lost?
Walking, walking, walking
back and forth around the room.
If you ask her why
    she cannot reply
but onward with determination
    she goes.
Sometimes she cries
sometimes she laughs
always looking forward as she goes.
Walking, walking, walking
    through the realm of dementia
    She goes
As God walks with her.

Please pray for people who are old and have the disability of dementia.

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