A Gray Sundown
Dusk was approaching on the house-lined horizon
Amid the graying skies of threatening rain--
Gloomy truly fit the description
“Is that snow outside?” she asked.
“It looks like snow. Oh! Me! My mind is leaving,” she continued.
Another lady next to me said, pointing to the next table,
“She didn’t bring her baby doll tonight. She did last night.
She has water in a dish on the floor to feed her baby.”
Food was served; tomato bisque soup tasting as the gray outside
With old ham seasoning; the oyster crackers helped -
Followed by a salad of creamed canned fruit
“Is that snow outside? My mind is bad. Ever hear of David Lipscomb?”
Time for the entrée of egg salad sandwich or chicken
“Bring me a half of a baked potato,” I said.
“My mind is leaving. Is it snowing?” she said.
The one-half baked potato with butter and sour cream was growing;
I could not eat; I wanted to leave
Tears gathered in my eyes
Why? Sorrow for those with dementia—
Managing in their world;
knowing it was not the real world;
knowing it was their world, but not knowing for sure
“Dear Lord, I saw my weakness or was it past patients flashing before me?”
The tears would not leave my eyes.
It was difficult to swallow. I wanted to leave the table.
My spouse said to wait on Eva who was still eating,
Yes, that would be polite
I didn’t want her to see my tears;
Perhaps she understood.
Water lying on rusty roof from years of holding in
Mind intact weeping for the snow outside on an early fall day;
Her body pushing her walker as she left with her mind going as well--
A “snowy” gray sundown
-Evelyn Pearl Anderson
Copyright © E. Pearl Anderson