A swiftly failing memory
cast in hues of black and sepia
an 8 MM movie
flickering shadows on a blank screen
caught between imagination and reality,
life becomes a deep dark dream.

And in this fugue mental state
when a mind is fading, waning
thoughts move like sliding doors
on a dirty rusted iron track
getting caught in all the debris
of insignificant memories.

And then there are those days
when the mind is crystal clear
and the lovely music of yesterday
still wafts on the fragrant air
remembering those you hold dear
before in darkness, they slip away.

©2021 Linda Lee Lyberg

Author’s Note: This is how I imagine Alzheimer’s to be. My mother had some dementia in her later days, but I am grateful she never forgot me or my husband.

dVerse Poets Pub: Poetics On Shades of Black

Tuesday writing prompt at Go Dog Go Cafe

Linda Lee Lyberg is a wife, mother, artist, published poet and author. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Pete (aka The Big Viking) of 24 years, and her dog, Ricky Bobby. Linda writes various forms of poetry, as well as short stories. You can read more of her works at: charmedchaos.com
and purchase anthologies containing her work here: Amazon Author Page

35 Comments on “Fugue

  1. Such a vivid and evocative portrayal, Linda! This line just made me stop and read it again and admire its creativity: “thoughts move like sliding doors/on a dirty rusted iron track”.
    How you have used ‘black’ here is very effective. Well-penned! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even without Alzheimers, I think we all know the feeling of reaching for a memory and finding that it has changed or faded. I like the image of a black and white movie – the outlines are there, the colour has gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. They say that during dementia the brain shrivels and shrinks. Autopsy reveals this, must be sad and shocking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I went through dementia with my mother. She would frequently ask where was my father and if her mother was coming to see her. No one can imagine such a desert of the mind, no one. We think we can, but we can’t

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having experienced the effects of dementia on my great grandmother, grandfather and mother, this poem moved me, Linda; it depicts dementia so meaningfully. These lines are vivid:
    ‘thoughts move like sliding doors
    on a dirty rusted iron track
    getting caught in all the debris
    of insignificant memories.’

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your poem is very moving, Linda.
    I think of my mother’s later years as a time of silent confusion. It’s not that she didn’t know where she was, or even whom she had lost, but moments and associations would slip from her, and I began to wonder if her short-term memory loss was seeping into her deeper memories. But then, maybe her silence was spent in thoughts of her past.
    I haven’t thought about this for a while. Your second stanza brought it back to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This, to me, is an amazing description of what early onset Alzheimers or dementia must feel like. The comparison to flickering 8mm movies seems exactly right…and the idea of sliding doors too. It must be such a frustrating thing to be in the beginning of this insidious disease…as the person. And so frustratingly helpless as the family seeing it come on.

    Liked by 1 person

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