Friday, May 29, 2020

The Blank Page #PoetryFriday

It's Poetry Friday and Mary Lee has the round-up this week at A Year of Reading. Check out all the poetry goodness!

If you have a loved one who has struggled with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, then you can understand the pain of watching someone so desperately trying to find a memory or even a simple word. There are times of recognition, but as time goes on, those moments become brief.

My grandmother-in-law wrote pages and pages of her life stories before she died. I treasure them although they belong to my husband. My mother has early dementia, and I gave her a notebook for Christmas urging her to write her stories. I don't want her pages to be blank. I want my children to know stories and to treasure them, too.

These times are heavy on my heart, and this poem is a result.

The Blank Page

Each day the sun rises,
the morning’s page
beckons for a story,
                a memory.

The sun shines, and
your eyes light up
until the words, like dried ink
fail to come
                once again.

Throughout the day
I see you searching
reaching to grasp a memory,
like a child trying to catch fireflies
blinking on and off
                in the dark.

Each day the sun sets
and the page remains blank
held together by words

Picture at Pixabay
Edited:  Mary Lee pointed out how the last line of each stanza was a poem within the poem. I bolded the words using her noticings.


  1. So poignant.

    In terms of your craft, I love the way the last line of each stanza works together with the others to make a sort of poem within a poem.

    1. Ah...I wish I could say that was intentional, but it wasn't! Thank you for noticing and pointing that out!

  2. Oh I see that poem and don't know whether I would have. It is wonderful. I can tell it is a happy accident, but who cares, it is perfect. I am sorry about your mother's early dementia. Two (not part of my immediate family) have Alzheimer's and it is so hard. One is alone in a Memory Unit and failing rather quickly. The other is in a retirement spot in North Carolina and her husband lives in his apt. which is down the hall so he can go and see her every day. He is devoted but it is so hard. Can you get your mother to record stories that you can tape and then transcribe? It might be easier for her and you might prompt her. It is so important to gather some of them. I wish I had written down more of my mom's. I tried to get her to do it but she really was not into it at that point. It really is a shame we don't have the stories. My bff works for a company and she writes people's stories via interviews often just on the phone. I would love to do that. I can talk more quickly that you get to choose your writer from a wide selection. So at least there is that option for some.

  3. Beautiful.
    I understand.

  4. I love the 'tiny' poem within, too, Leigh Anne. I am sorry about your mother, the hardest thing to watch. My husband had Parkinson's Disease with dementia, beginning with grasping for words and memories as you describe. I was fortunate that he was not terribly affected physically for a long while as some Parkinson's patients are. My mother was a prolific writer and I have many pages of stories & poems from her, am glad for that. One thought is I wonder, as Janet wrote if you asked questions and wrote the answers for your mom? It may help. It is a loving poem you've written for her. I imagine the family would love it.

  5. This poem is beautiful....heartbreakingly so. I remember giving my grandfather a book of memory prompts and have done the same for my Dad. It's nice to have those stories in ink that I can go back to. The last lines of each stanza as a new poem are really lovely. This poem is a treasure. I hope you share beyond this audience. Someone(s) in our world need it's comfort.

  6. Dear Leigh Anne: It is a heartbreaking story, and I wish you strength and peace as you face each day. I have seen what dementia can do. Thank you for sharing your poem of sadness.

  7. Leigh Anne, the fear of losing one's memory is a reality in many families grappling with early dementia. It hurt to see my mother drift in and out and now my uncle, her brother is faced with this. Your poem is so touching and beautifully crafted. While you did not intentionally set out to create a mini-poem within your poem, it is a blessed happening.