Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Endnotes Free

To Esther

Ed Strause, MEd


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

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.

Mr. Strause is an unaffiliated retiree.

Address correspondence to Ed Strause, 1900 Cliffside Drive, Apt. 103, State College, PA 16801; e-mail:

Posted: March 22, 2013


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