A poem on Dementia.

Dementia Sets In


The house has its blinds pulled shut.

It will let no secrets out today.

No songs of joy or sorrow float from its windows,

no lamp light brightens the lace at the sill.

It just sits there

As if it is confused;

are there enough flowers in the bed,

or too many?

There are no children playing

at the window or in the yard.

The house is usually bustling

with activity and noise.

Today we notice how still it stands

There is no opening of its doors

no water running from the hose.

What are the inhabitants doing?

Are they shut in because of sickness?

Are they away on vacation?

Is there a hostage situation unfolding?

The curtains haven’t fluttered in hours.

Where there was life and laughter yesterday

today there is only an awkward silence.


This poem is very personal to me. I have submitted it to a couple of different reviews/journals and have had it rejected and my heart can’t take this one being rejected again so I am going to put it up here and hope someone understands what I was trying to do with this poem.


4 thoughts on “A poem on Dementia.

  1. It feels like you’re going in two directions at once. The chunk in the middle is another angle.
    How about, “It just sits there…as if confused.” Something to bring in the sense of lost or befuddled rather than just empty.


      • I think modern poetry is tricky compared to the old “My love is like a red, red rose” type. First you have to know exactly what you’re comparing to what — in this case an old house to a person who’s confused and forgetting. Then you have to try and weave in little arrows here and there that point to the comparison without exactly stating it.

        Some poets put in arrows that they think are indicative, their mind can jump the gap, but a reader may not get it at all, so the arrows are phrases that point to nowhere. I’ve read poems where I haven’t a CLUE what the author wants to say, other than by the title. 😦


        • I think you’re right about the author’s mind jumping the gap. I’ve read poems where the top half has nothing to do with the second half and it’s probably because the author is writing from personal experience and didn’t realize that all readers where going to follow them. I also don’t like it when someone uses huge spaces in their poem, for me it breaks up the flow too much.


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