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The one hundred and thirteen year old ceilings

above our heads are falling

in white flakes that have no pattern.

I suppose it's useless to expect triangles

or squares, or even broken fractals,

brushed into a dustpan with some sadness

and recurring regret that I cannot fix

all that is depreciating with time.


Give us this day, give us this night when

filling the bird feeder and birdbath

brings streams of holy light, captured

surrounding you on a grey weathered chair

holding a black cat, purring.


Give us this day, give us this night when

you call out for your long dead father

or imagine I am asking you to fix

a broken stained glass angel or

the eternally dripping kitchen faucet.


Our weekdays are routine, which is to say

in theory, planned, but life in the Alzheimer's world

is hardly predictable...and I find myself

both angry and protective, hopeful

for small glimpses into your shuttered mind.


My prayers are for mercy and patience,

gratitude for those who are helpful

and at my worst, bless a book, a butterfly,

a persistent bird, a blue sky, a blue shirt,

bless your confused blue eyes.


Give us this day, give us this night

when a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich

makes you smile and you are content

underneath clean flannel sheets and

far too many blankets for me.

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