September 14, 2004

Memory Problems: A POEM

I may have posted this on the main bulletin boards, but if so, here tis again. If not, here it is for the first time. Enjoy, all you aging baby boomers!


1) Place your car keys in your right hand.
2) With your left hand, call a friend and confirm a lunch or dinner date.
3) Hang up the phone.
4) Now look for your car keys.
Steve Martin

It seems everyone my age is losing,
give or take five years, you name it:
track, keys, sight, hair, hearing,
or hard of it already
from concerts standing too close
to feel the boom bone-deep.
I am glad to report I am not
among the second wave
of deafened boomers
who died -- excuse me, *dyed*
the moussed grey that�s left
purple or pierced something painful
somewhere visible and appalling
just to re-enter dark dens of youth,
punk and grunge, Ecstasy and oblivion...

Frankly, oblivion�s lost all appeal.
And ecstasy too.
Most of us don�t want to be lost
in thought or space,
much less the sands of time.
Yet we�re losing the battle daily, god knows
I am, the frayed synapses sputtering,
guttering, leaving us in the know
for decades, in the dark fumbling
for the light-switch or just a candle
to hold to what we once were.
Today, for example, I �xeroxed� my coffee.

It�s supposed to be good
to know we�re not alone,
that some aging glitterary lights
are dimming too, stars whose names
I�ve plum forgotten, or others,
like John, the gland-dotted yellow flower
all the rage in boomer herbals,
herb for all that ails. Today I couldn�t find
that blankety blank St John-
something-or-other anywhere
to unstick it from my tongue�s
incipient Alzheimer�s.

But fearing Alzheimer�s
is the midlife crisis of baby boomers,
I'm told, so I�m not alone, which is
like saying the elegance of the company
on board a sinking Titanic
should reassure me. I went to �xerox�
my coffee the other day -- or did I
tell you that? What about lunch yesterday
and �those little round green things"
I've eaten for 49 years unworried,
never dreaming the day would come
I�d have to give �brussel sprouts�
a second thought?

Posted by pamwagg at September 14, 2004 04:28 AM | TrackBack


Dearest Pamela,
It's all well and good for you to be so open about one of the lesser joys of aging while writing in your own blog. However, it appears that you have aired my aged laundry as well in doing so. It was kind of you, however, to omit the more dire aspects of my condition. It still amazes me the amount of synergy that we share.
Your loving pal,(Um, hold on a minute. I'm sure my name will come to me eventually.)

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at September 15, 2004 12:29 AM

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