San Francisco Poetry Magazine –

"The Shell of My Grandfather" by Maryam Shama


Title image shows a stylistic shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Home | Submissions | Published | About

Published January 1, 2023

The Shell of My Grandfather

An Ode to Alzheimer's

by Maryam Shama
(Irvine, California, USA)

As I watch his fingers dance along the keys without hesitation,
I am given a fragment of the man you stole from me.

Maybe he's coming back.

Yet his confidence, glowing through the melody,
slowly fades as he lays his last finger down
and gazes with empty eyes,
no longer filled with awareness,
at the array of faces yearning for a bit of hope
that one of us is recognized once more

You take over once again,
removing any sliver of hope
that the man loved by all in the room is capable of returning.

You stole his mind.
You left his body for me to painfully watch
as it is now occupied by the mind of a stranger.
Reminding me every day of the man I love,
forcing me to accept the reality that although I see him before me –
He is not truly there.

My name is Maryam and this fall I'll be a junior at UCLA. I'm majoring in psychology and my goal is to get my PhD and participate in dementia research. My poem is inspired by my grandfather, who was my personal definition of independent, but was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Watching his decline through Alzheimer’s impacted me greatly, thus, my poem displays my relationship with his disease and is an expression of my anger towards it.

This poem is included in Poetry World #5, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in San Francisco Poetry Magazine:
Tagged in San Francisco 1942

by Marjorie Sato-Bukowski

Home | Submissions | Published | About

San Francisco Poetry Magazine is part of the Wax Poetry and Art Network.
- Visit the main Wax Poetry and Art Submissions Page to see all opportunities.
- Visit the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
- This website and all contents ©Kirk Ramdath and specified artists.