Nurses Come and Go
Speaking of Michelangelo
and other friends that stop by.
Waiting just waiting.
Soft words litter everywhere
loud words jump up.
Sitting in a wheel chair bores me
slows me down.
Please let me walk.
My feet still miss their slippers
The First Year by Cece Iandoli, Selected Poems
I come from the world of theatre with its emphasis on a beginning, middle and end. Poetry, on the other hand, has never played a major role in my life…until this year. I attended a workshop of a play about Alzheimer’s. The arc of the play was about the progress of the disease – the beginning, middle and end. Increasingly and perhaps necessarily, we were on the outside experiencing it through the reactions and viewpoint of her family and friends.
But for the person living with Alzheimer’s, life is about the moment not the beginning, middle and end. To illuminate those moments I now read poetry.
In 2012, Cece Iandoli was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. After the diagnosis, she began to write poetry. Through her writing she began to explore the pain and heartache brought about by the disease, as well as the love shown by family and friends.
The poetry collection “The First Year” offers readers a first-hand experience of Alzheimer’s. From the indignity of doctor visits to the joys of morning coffee to the memories of first loves, Cece’s poems take the reader on a journey as she lives with the disease.
Luke Guidici edited the collection for Cece, his former professor and mentor. He writes, “Working on this book with Cece gave me a glimpse into what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s. I hope the poems will give comfort to those with the disease, as well as their families, by reminding them that they are not alone in the journey.”
Thank you Luke for sharing her journey.
Traces of your fingers
on the spoon you used this morning
I can’t erase the soft smudge.
I want the remnants, the small asides,
the hugs you gave me at the airport.
By the way, you forgot your book: Fire in the Belly.
More data about what you love:
plaid prints, bold colors, brave choices,
good food, honest talks, and socks that yell happiness.
You tell people you love them when you do.
As though you know this is a good idea,
not a complex agenda.
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