Illustration by Japneet

Poet’s note: This is in remembrance of an uncle who lived for 15 years with Alzheimer’s and what it did to his wife, as a partner and a caregiver.


some goodbyes
extend
into years —
a vicious cycle
of rusty
r e m e m b r a n c e
under an awning
of vehement nods

yours a mind with
gaping black spots—
holes with some
hissing anecdotes
a blotched canvas
of scrubbed images

you were dapper—
a wit and a sarcasm
to your tongue
now your eyes
brighten with
moments rare
inside, closing
often in nostalgia
of dead-end
lanes—

fearful of
midnight zones
piecing together
the puzzle
you have now
become is my
exuberance now

the system of
ensuring your
system is not
obstructed is
my daily activity

they say puzzles
can keep the
alzheimer’s
and its
(f’ing)
dragons
away —

your
now —
waning smile
still drops by
once in a while,
reluctant

Kashiana Singh is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to Work as Worship. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer. She is from India, now lives in Chicago. She is a regular contributor to different poetry platforms. She is in the process of gathering her second collection of poems.