The Moon Has Lost Her Memory

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Happy Poetry Friday, and welcome! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

I have so many friends (including here in the PF community) and family members, including our own immediate family, supporting people with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc. It’s such a devastating thing, and yet watching people guide and care for their loved ones with such patience and grace is really beautiful.

I wrote this poem a few months ago and finally remembered to share it this week.


And for a wide variety of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup cooked up by encouraging poet and writer Tracey Kiff-Judson.

17 Responses

  1. Laura, memory loss is such a tragic transition to watch. I feel for you observing that evolution in people you care about. Your poem captures both the confusion and the love that can emerge in these situations. Sending love to you and your family! <3

  2. So beautiful and poignant! Love your using the moon as a metaphor. The last stanza feels comforting. Dementia is so devastating.

  3. Such patience and grace you mention is so hard when a loved one is facing dementia. I love in your poem how the sun is there and “pours light on her confusion” and “the earth reaches for her with a hug of gravity/” Such a gorgeous metaphor.

  4. Your poignant poem places the reader up close and personal to the slow onset of a curtain being drawn across a mind full of memories and moments. It is a harsh, cruel reality for far too many and yet it remains important to talk and write about its impacts. Your poem, Laura says some things that are most important in helping us understand such happenings to people we love dearly. The notion of the great empty is an apt descriptor.

  5. As you know, my mother has Alzheimer’s. It’s a really rough thing to go through. Your poem shows the bright side of loved ones hugging the sorrow away.

    1. You were one of the people in my heart as I wrote this, Margaret. Also, my sister-in-law Lori, who does 90+% of the caretaking for my mom-in-law. And some others, too. So hard when there’s nothing you can do but love the person. Love is so powerful, but we want it to be able to fix everything, and it can’t. But surely it can always help.

  6. This made me cry, Laura. So beautiful. My mother had dementia in the last couple years of her life (it started with her first bout with Covid and worsened after a stroke.) The sun and earth surrounding the moon with support … wow. Such beautiful imagery. I will never regret trying to be the sun and the earth for my mom.

    1. Karen, I’m so sorry. Such a terrible thing to go through for the loved ones. What a gift you must have been for your mom. Hugs.

  7. Laura, your tender understanding of dementia is reflected in your beautiful descriptive poem. “She spins, mapless, through the great empty” touched my heart making me think back on my mother and uncle’s challenges.

  8. When my mom’s memory began to fail and it progressed rather quickly, we had a great deal of fun being together. She had forgotten so much that annoyed her and she was sweet. But it is a challenge I know for many with memory loss that lasts many months, years. I loved thinking of the clever moon metaphor and how it relates. Thanks, Laura.

    1. How lovely that there was a plus side to it! My dad’s memory is starting to weaken…he has yet to forget anything that annoys him, however.

  9. Oh, my goodness…I saw this poem on IG while I was at the gym and my first thought was, I wish I had written that! It’s such a great poem. I’ve already started thinking of ways I can riff on your structure: “The _____ has lost her______” It’s an absolute perfect entrance into another mental space. Thanks for the exquisite craft of this.

Thanks for reading! I love comments and/or shares, because they let me know what you like.

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