Writer’s Quote: Dear Reader

Writer’s Quote: Dear Reader

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Welcome to another writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors.

Today’s poem talks about taking care of a patient with Alzheimers, from the point of view of the nurse. I love the fact that the writer, Rita Mae Reese, left the identity of the patient and the carer genderless. Leaving it up to our creative minds to fill in the blanks.

This poem, “Dear Reader“, is not a poem one reads and immediately whips out the pen and notebook because of its poetic inspiration. No, it’s one of those reads which strike a chord in the heart. For lack of better wording, it’s what I like to call “beautiful and heartwarming”, and reading it, left me wanting more of it. Below is the poem:

Dear Reader by Rita Mae Reese
You have forgotten it all.
You have forgotten your name,
where you lived, who you
loved, why.
I am simply
your nurse, terse and unlovely
I point to things
and remind you what they are:
chair, book, daughter, soup.

And when we are alone
I tell you what lies
in each direction: This way
is death, and this way, after
a longer walk, is death,
and that way is death but you
won’t see it
until it is right
in front of you.

                Once after
your niece had been to visit you
and I said something about
how you must love her
or she must love you
or something useless like that,
you gripped my forearm
in your terrible swift hand
and said, she is
everything
—you gave

me a shake—everything
to me.

                   And then you fell
back into the well. Deep
in the well of everything. And I
stand at the edge and call:
                      chair, book, daughter, soup. 

If you could describe this poem in two words, what would they be? 

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