Father Poem

An Ode To A Father With Alzheimer's

My father and I have always been close; when I was young, he would take me on drives to record stores and football games, anywhere and everywhere we'd go, together. Recently he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, and slowly, day by day, he's losing what makes him my father. I wrote this poem as an ode to the memory of the man he once was, before it all. I read it to him from time to time, and he smiles and asks me who wrote it. I always say, "a girl who loves her father dearly".

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On Your Shoulders

©

Published: October 13, 2018

I remember the times
You'd flip me onto your shoulder
Freefalling skyward
Taller, older

I felt like a giant
At that great height
And felt no fear
Just sheer delight

Safe in your hands
So sure and strong
Now they're gone
It feels all wrong

No more do I fly
And reach the stars
No more do I soar
That path of ours

Up and beyond
Your own great length
Above your heart
Upon your strength

Where always you kept
Me and us all
Where you could watch us
That we'd never fall

And always you'd work
Day after day
To give us a life
We'd love each day

And though you'd grump
And gripe and groan
You'd flash a smile
At coming home

Where we would sit
And eat home food
Sing to songs
That sang of blues

Like stories you'd tell
Of your young days
And how the world
Has changed its ways

You'd reminisce
Of your own dad
The happy times
That you two had

I'd smile and think
Of you and I
And him and you
And ache to cry

For as I knew
You'd lost your own
I knew that you'd
Leave me alone

I could only hope
And wish and pray
That each day
Would not be that day

So each night that
We'd sit and talk
I'd try to capture
Every thought

And every smile
Every laugh
In my mind
Like photographs

Now I replay
Your greatest hits
From our hours together
Our best bits

These are the memories
I now love
In my heart as your picture
In my glove

And swear that until
The day I go too
I'll never forget
And I'll always love you.

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