Word Maven

                                  for VG

Her soft new-mommy cooing
sang babies into the world,
first sounds they  ever heard
a tone poem for a newborn.
Folding tiny hands steeple-like,
showing  how to call on God,
Our Father who art in heaven…
she prayed  a verse for the Creator.
Helping decode ‘Dick and Jane,’
‘The Pokey Little Puppy,’
‘The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins’
it was word magic.
“Bring a new word to dinner every night,”
supper  was a  grandiose, bellicose, pandemonium,
with lallygagging whenever there was liver,
she cooked  up a word feast.
Lists organized her life,
a to-do list, a birthday list, a shopping list,
a ‘things I’ll never do’ list
  poetry for a housewife.
Her scribbled papers became a lifeline,
tethering scattered memory,
she buried  forgetfulness on a list
titled ‘tomorrow, maybe.’
Now words spill off the page
into the vault of locked -up memories                           
and there is no verse  to comfort,
no song for senility.
©WabiSabi 2012
Shared with Poets United

23 thoughts on “Word Maven

  1. Her scribbled papers became a lifeline,
    tethering scattered memory,
    she buried forgetfulness on a list
    titled ‘tomorrow, maybe.’

    heart touching…..congrats on writing such a beautiful verse


  2. I like the compilation of the list, words and things to do…but putting off for tomorrow seems a bad habit. In the end, we will never get them done ~ Good one ~


    • Thank you for commenting. Perhaps the poem does not convey this effectively but she used the lists as a way to put off becoming dependent on others. And it worked for a long time!


  3. I wish your poem could be hung in every nursing home because so many gone senile are dehumanized, not for lack of care always but just because it is so hard to remember our humanity without our words.


  4. I’d imagine this must have been very difficult to watch someone you care about have to endure not being able to remember certain memories. Thanks for sharing.


  5. The loss is well stated — the set-up perfect. But I must, in part, ignore the last lines and remember all the rest. Last memories do not deserve the attention our minds try to give them.


    • It is difficult to ignore the last part when one is still in the midst of it. Perhaps I will write a different poem later. Thank you for your insights. It is helpful to have feedback. I first wrote this poem a few years ago when there was more hope and the last verse reflected that. I rewrote it when I recognized that there is often no way to console. I have been witness to many women walking the path of senility with a parent over my years as a caregiver and noticed that the experience of powerlessness to comfort is profoundly sad. Now I am living it.


  6. “Lists organized her life,
    a to-do list, a birthday list, a shopping list,
    a ‘things I’ll never do’ list
    poetry for a housewife.”

    Love this!!! This was poignant and sad. Nice Write


  7. In addition to this being a beautiful piece of writing, it is also quite touching. A loving tribute, it is despite the loss of hope. Perhaps there is also a level of acceptance, which inevitably precedes greater understanding.


  8. *Bows Deeply* Bravo!
    Thank you for sharing this Wabi – your words have touched me deeply, so I can only begin to imagine what feelings they bring out in you and yours.
    My Mother used posit-it-notes in the earlier stages of her Dementia. Your poem made me think of them as those fridge poetry magnets you see – little yellow slices of a life scattered.
    Keep that love of words alive…for you are spreading it far and wide 🙂


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