This prison does not have to have bars of steel,
but the barriers to freedom, remain just as real.
There is no judge that can free her on bail,
and no able lawyer that can keep her from jail.
It started so simply, just a phrase here and there,
or maybe a memory, that vanished in thin air.
She was starting to repeat, things she'd already said,
offering only faint clues as to what lay ahead.
She slowly grew worse, as the seasons passed by.
She knew something was wrong, but not what, nor why.
To try to go anywhere would become such a task,
for over and over, the same questions she'd ask.
Then came the times when in anger and fear,
she'd beg: "Please help me!" and weep bitter tears.
Now for some time she has lived here with us,
and every evening she makes such a big fuss.
"I want to go home!! Why can't I just leave?"
The answers we give her, she just can't receive.
Slowly, but surely, the disease shuts her in.
Now we can see, the beginning of the end.
What is this illness, with no cure we can find?
Alzheimer's Disease, it's a prison of the mind.
Copyright © 1997 Jerry Ham
Used with permission of the author.
Jerry and his wife are both nurses and they
are a team in taking care of his mother who
who has Alzheimer's. Jerry frequently shares
his poetry on the Alzheimer list, bringing tears
to all our eyes.
Email Jerry at: firstname.lastname@example.org