“Where are my beads?” She asks after I pull the quilt up around her chin. I keep them close on her bedside table, so they are always within easy reach.
“Here they are Mom,” I scoop them off the pine table top and let them cascade into her open palm. I am inspired to write a poem about this and other Alzheimer’s rituals:
An Endless Prayer
She has fat little fingers now.
Her precious rings don’t fit them anymore.
At night, she counts her rosary:
one bead after another after another after another.
In the day, she sits and strokes the tops of her legs:
up and down up and down up and down.
Her hands, like the days and the nights are
soft, gentle tides going in and out in and out in and out on a desert island.
I wonder what she feels as she comforts herself and gazes,
seemingly lost, into the near and far.
She turns, touches my arm.
“Hi Punkie, I’m so glad you came to see me,” she says.
My heart is in a million pieces.