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Today is Saturday and you are still a child
helping Mother polish the furniture,
feed wet clothes through the mangle
and chop the carrots for dinner.

You do not speak of river or wave
but drown in the rip and the crest
breaking into foam or swirl submerged
branches into a surrealist sculpture.

The ebb and flow a mystery
swallowed by currents
—your mouth too hungry to feed.

Yesterday always stands in the corner
of this room, throwing its shadow
over the present           while tomorrow
never walks through your door.

Your words are a billabong dried by sun
into cracked lines radiating outwards
like a map of itself drawn in dirt—
the shape of a kidney without its twin

gouged into the creek’s bed.
Water has no place
and there is no time for salt

in this desert of memory

where you beckon to the dead
and bring them back to life,
raise them from the grave
and live in their today.

The science inspiring the piece:

'Which memory symptoms are specific for dementia?', Dementia Science

Feature image by Dolfi Trost (Public Domain)