Your Loss

You take your dementia-laden wife
to a dermatologist appointment
for scabies contracted in the home

This leaves you angry and frustrated as usual
The farther we get away from this day
the better we will both feel 

I have never met Maureen but have seen photos
Wedding pictures where you look at her
so lovingly; partially squinting as you are not wearing

your glasses.  The ones at the cottage where she caught 
the first fish. The recent ones you keep on your phone
in case you lose her.  I listen to your stories

of her gradual dissolution.  You tell me of a more 
successful visit.  She calls you Mom now and is happy
and good willed, does not scratch from the scabies

and is wide awake.  You take her out on the grounds
and give her a taste of a better quality of life
The next time though you say something has changed

As if her senses have diminished 
particularly tactile, all part
of the dementia, part of losing her

You liken these visits
to going to the same funeral
over and over and over

Beverly Cummings