My Mind’s Eye

This is a poem my Mam wrote when my Grandfather had Alzheimer’s.

My Mind’s Eye
I see a shuffling, unsteady confused old man wandering along corridors towards locked doors.

In my mind’s eye,
I see a straight back,
strong legs striding through woods, along fields,
wind on his face, his dog running beside him.

I see thin, clutching hands constantly searching for ‘jobs to do’.

In my mind’s eye,
I see strong hands sawing heaps of logs to warm us all on a winter’s night.
I see careful hands, mending broken toys.
I see gentle hands, stroking, stroking his beloved dog’s head.

I hear mixed up, disjointed words and sentences, in a muttered and mumbled tone.

In my mind’s eye,
I hear the strong, tuneful voice as he ings in the choir,
or recites a poem, remembered from a long ago school day.

I see the blank look, the uncomprehending stare,
as his family visit, longing for any sign,
a sign that he knows and remembers us.

In my mind’s eye,
I see a family man,
proud, in his own quiet way of all of us,
loving, in a way that his generation often did, without words.

I thank god for my mind’s eye.
For its ability to remind me of a different Dad,
A Dad not lost to us forever in this living hell they label Alzheimer’s.

poem by Mary Skinner

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