I was unable to sleep one night approximately 1 month after my wife was admitted to a nursing home with dementia resulting from progressive supranuclear palsy. As I lay awake, the first phrases of this poem came to me, so I got up and jotted them down until something told me that in the six couplets I had said it all.
Photo courtesy of Edward Strause
Where is the girl I used to know?
I thought I saw her a minute ago,
With her long brown hair, falling free,
As she sat and read love poems to me.
Now I sit and wait and hold her hand,
As she wanders about in some other land,
A land that is strange, unknown to me,
With bogs and snares that won’t let her free.
But now she’s here again for a while,
With her laughing eyes and sunny smile.
I wonder how long she’ll stay this when,
Before she starts to wander again.