Prose - Leave My Father Alone You Bastard

Alzheimer's
What kind of name is that?
Like some kind of aristocrat
Yeah
I'm talking to you
Leave him alone
You bastard
You attacked his mind
Then his dreams
Finally his lover
You won't let her sleep
No
You won't
That's how you win
Fatigue is your weapon
You take their days
And their nights
You coward
You know they are tired
And old
And demoralized
And worried
About help
She calls
With a tension filled voice
Wondering what I will say
Wondering if our next conversation
Will destroy our relationship
So
What do you want?
Why don't you just kill him?
Well? Why don't you?
But no
You're too cruel for that
That would be too easy
You bastard
You prefer to torture
Silently
And with no warning
A man who lived
A beautiful life
All you do is destroy
Everything you touch
Not all at once
But piece by piece
Drip by drip
So you may live
A long time
Because a parasite
Needs its host
To feed on a helpless mind
Sucking the marrow
Of consciousness
While he suffers
As do those who love him
It's not good enough to kill him
You want to kill us too
You want us to abandon him
To put him away
Helplessly alone
So you can finish the job
Of carving the canyon
Of fear
And darkness
Into his mind
So he cannot walk
Or talk
Or sleep
Or love
Or know
Who loves him
Or needs him
Yes
You want all that
To vanish
From his life
And then
You want us next
To fight
And lose each other
And him
Because this disease
Offers no answers
Only pain
Yes
You bastard
You want all of us
Well fuck you
That's right
FUCK
YOU
You won't win
You may take his mind
But you will not destroy his family
His dignity
Our compassion
Or our love
For him
And for each other
That's right
You heard me
And I know who's next
That's why we're talking
Because I'm ready for you
C'mon
You bastard

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Comments 47 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

It's a horrible disease because you lose them twice...once when they forget who you are and again when they die.

I lost my father to Alzheimer's for the first time in 1994 and again in 1999 when he died. I was the only son with four sisters, so Dad and I were very close. It crushed me the first time he didn't know who I was, and it never got better.

And yes, it is a hateful bastard of a disease.


runrchic1 profile image

runrchic1 5 years ago from Upstate New York

This was very touching. Alzheimer's is an incredibly sad disease.


CheyenneAutumn profile image

CheyenneAutumn 5 years ago

I had a very good friend who at the age of 40 developed alzheimers. I watched this poor woman who had taught me so much lfade in and out of her memories. Such an evil disease, one we all need to fight!

This is a much needed post. I am glad you put the evil on notice!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

I don't want to talk about Alzheimer's Syndrome; I want to just say that this is the best thing I have seen of yours for a long time. This is your genre. It's powerful, I doesn't pretend to be anything but emotive prose... and then in hits hard, and that's how it works


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

My oldest brother had it and died of the complications. My other brother seems to be having signs of it now. I do not have day to day contact as we live in different places. It is a sad thing.


Justsilvie 5 years ago

This is a very powerful poem. You brought tears to my eyes.

Well Done.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I am utterly speechless. I too have tears in my eyes. Voted up and awesome.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

To everyone who responded: THANK YOU! My father and I talked yesterday and he told me he had to go to the hospital for some tests. So his wife got on the phone with me and explained he was experiencing a jumpy body while he slept and she couldn't handle it anymore. So they talked to a doctor and the recommendation was to see if they can diagnose the problem and blah blah blah... so I don't know what it is but to me it's all the Alzheimer's. I think he is having bad dreams. She said sometimes that he cries in his sleep.

Anwyay, it just keeps creeping up and now it's affecting her and the entire situation is stabilized by her presence. It's like I want to hunt this thing down and kill it (the disease). I appreciate your support and I apologize for the profanity but that's me sometimes in all my raw glory....

Emotive prose - I like that.. if that's my genre then that's good because writing like this is very cathartic for me. I truly appreciate everyone's understanding and support....


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Unfortunately, the time will come when your mother will no longer be able to cope. Alzheimer's patients are up half the night and wandering, confused and lost. They are also sneaky. One minute they are sitting quietly and the next, they are halfway around the block. I had to frantically go find Dad several times. And when I did find him, I had to coax him into the car because to him, I was a stranger!

In time, perhaps soon, your mother will be exhausted.

I apologize for the bad news, but there it is.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Will - that's alright... no need to apologize. As you can tell from my piece, I se it coming... that's why I started dropping f-bombs....


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

This brings to mind Dylan Thomas..."Rage, rage against the dying of the light".

Alzheimer's is the one thing that scares the hell out of me. Fortunately our family has no history of it, but that is small comfort.

This was an honest and powerful piece.

I wish you and your family well.

CP


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Christopher - thanks man... it appears this is one disease that attacks the entire family... managing a loved one's downward descent is the most difficult thing I've encountered and it really hasn't even gotten bad yet....


AKH profile image

AKH 5 years ago from Rhode Island

Very moving. One of my aunts always said that of all of the things that can be deblilitating as we age, the one thing that she wished that she never got Alzeimhers. Well here we are and her worst nightmare has come true. And she is powerless to stop it. It is a cruel and unforgiving disease. FUCK YOU is right. The last part of your prose is very strong (from FUCK YOU...). I will use it to express my anger on the days that are the toughest to give me and my family the outlet of anger and helplessness that is and will become progessively worse until the day that My Aunt Jeannie is finally at peace. We will let her go with all of the dignity and compassion that she most certainly is deserving of and try to remember the loving positive memories that embodied who she was.

Again, thank you for empowering me with the words to express my emotions against this cowardly Bastard of a disease.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@AKH - It stinks that I have to write stuff like this but it is what it is... I'm glad the profanity is not off-putting but I want to be honest. Yes... it makes me mad... Yes... I think these things... whose kidding who? I'm not going to be something that I'm not and I said it because that's what fit.... it may not be eloquent but it had to be said... I'm very happy this has helped you in your similar difficulties... good luck and hang in there....


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 5 years ago from Illinois

You are going through a terrible acceptance with your father. I can't understand who so many people are coming down with the disease. It's like an epidemic. Sure people sometimes get old and remember, but there are too many prople who can't remember. Has it been the foods we eat, or some of the medicines, there must be a reason for so many of them with the disease!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Nan - yes it seems to be all around us... it could be chemicals in the water supply; pollution; foo as you say... who knows... it sucks and all I can say is I'm worried but this morning he and I talked and it was a great conversation. Lot's of laughter... I reminded him again that he needs to cater to his wife... he said "I know..."


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

My eye's have seen so many with this debilitating disease, working as an R.N. for years. I was working in a nursing home once when we admitted a man with Alzheimer's. He was a Physicist. He would bring his tweed coat to the nurse's station,attempting to explain the tweed lines in the coat. He knew what he wanted to say but couldn't. So sad, he and many others. Bless you and your Father. I pray that you will find peace.


Barbara Kutra profile image

Barbara Kutra 5 years ago from So. California

I have worked with people with Alzheimer's. It's very difficult on families. Take care of yourself.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@always - thank you for commenting so frequently; My Dad is still hanging in there but he does get confused. One on one it's good. We talked and laughed easily yesterday.

@Barbara - thank you for caring...

Sorry about the profanity....


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

An old lady I use to help who had this would often ask me where her mother was. I soon realised I could not keep telling her the truth each time, it was cruel as it always had the shock of hearing the news for the first time. It is a most frustrating illness to deal as it always seems just as you almost get to grips with a problem another one comes along that that is harder to cope with. Knowing she can ring you is probably helping his carer, who is probably suffering from the lack of sleep as well as the day to day stress.

I think talking and/or looking at photos is good, as the past is usually easier to talk about than an hour ago.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@2uesday - you are spot on with your comment about talking about the past (years ago). He is very lucid when it comes to that stuff. Thanks for commenting....


Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

No need to apologise for expressing yourself. Your fathers condition is v real and your feelings are v real. Just keep on keeping it real, sharing and expressing.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Ashantina - I appreciate that... I guess you're not going to get classy everytime out with me. I can appreciate a dignified person (what's the line from Pink Floyd: "Quiet desperation is the English way") but I'm a bit raw at times and I'm going with that because it's real as you say....


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Can't blame you for the language. Alzheimer's took my dad from us two years ago this month. It's a torturous, horrific disease that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I only wish the part of not recognizing us was the worst of it, but it far exceeded my expectations of what I had heard of the disease. Sending prayers your way.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@DIY - thank you for commenting... I hope it's not as bad as you say but I don't know why it wouldn't be... I fully expect the worst so that's why you get the aggressive prose....


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi SP, My family has no history concerning this terrible disease, but if fate steps in i shall be better armed to respond. You have channelled your love and anger into one of the most heartfelt and powerful poems ever written. I wish you and your family all the very best in the struggle that lays ahead. Good luck friend. There are great people all around the world, doing their utmost to find a breakthrough. They will come through, I know it!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@attemptedhumour - thank you for very nice comment. I know they are working on a cure... Maybe it will be more in the line of prevention. I don't know if they can ever repair damage already done but in the meantime I sit and howl at the moon....


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

This was very hard to read, especially when my tears got in the way...Words can't begin to express my rage at this insidious killer of the human spirit...Go well, my friend...Larry


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Maven - How do you say thank you to someone who has a heart such as yours? This is a wonderful comment you have added and it is a measure of your heart as a human being. This thing is so hurtful and I have to sit hear and watch a very accomplished man who was joi de vivre personified go down in flames... You saw my anger and I'm glad you joined me.....


Marina Lester 5 years ago

Such a thing is so sad, but the love of family is very beautiful...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Marina - thanks for commenting... yeah it's sad and difficult but we're all hanging in there...


Wooded 5 years ago

Wow - this is great. Very powerful.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Wooded - thank you... this one has the force of love and personal experience powering it....


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

Awesome man , there is only our memories for them ! As I do , I remember my folks ,all of them, even now back into their best times. This is a powerful write ....I can feel your power in this.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@ahorseback - thanks man... the power is there because you are seeing my real feelings on display... this stuff is very difficult to handle especially the strain on his wife who is his primary caretaker...


leni sands profile image

leni sands 5 years ago from UK

I cannot add any more than anyone has added already. You have expressed the feelings of families of dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers, around the globe so well in this poem. Voted up, useful, awesome - f....g beautiful!!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@leni - Thank you for reading and thank you for posting your poem about dementia. It enabled me to go back and read the comments here about my father. I got tears in my eyes again.... I send hope for you and your family as you struggle through this. We're still upright but are waiting for the next downturn....


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Mark (The Suburban Poet),

I was looking for some Hubs to share about fathers since Father's Day is in three days.

This is the most moving piece I've found.

The profanity doesn't bother me. It emphasizes the frustration you are experiencing.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Very intense Mark. I felt your anger. So sorry your family is having to deal with this monster.


Eileen Goodall profile image

Eileen Goodall 4 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

My heart goes out to you it's a hideous disease x


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Daisy - Thank you so much for highligting this hub. It was a very upsetting diagnosis and well.... you see how I feel. It's been hard on the family but things have leveled off and we are all working together. He's still at home and is fairly functional.

@Sunshine - Thank you. Yeah I was angry... still am but I guess I'm getting used to the situation.

@Eileen - Thank you and you are right about that.


Joanie 4 years ago

He is very lucky to have you!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 4 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Joanie - Well I hope so... I try you know to be understanding. He's still the happiest one of everyone. Everyday is a new day and he just shrugs his shoulders...


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

It is a worry when you lose a loved one in this horrible way. How do you know if it will strike you? I sometimes think it is best not to know or even think about it. If your number is up there is nothing you can do. My Dad died from this and went really quickly. Thanks for writing this. It puts it all in perspective for me....well done.

Vote up / awesome


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Mark, this is raw, powerful and a righteous anger. Having worked with patients and their families undergoing this suffering, I can truly relate to this anthem. Very well expressed. voted up/awesome.


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

My Mum cared for my Dad during 15 years of Alzheimer's. She promised him she would care for him forever. It broke her heart when she could no longer cope, when he no longer had control over his bodily functions and couldn't feed himself. He lasted a few months in a nursing home then passed away. This disease is far too cruel for anyone to have to endure, either physically or as a loved one. I feel your fury because it is mine also. Thank you for expressing it so deeply and clearly.

My best wishes to you and yours.


Valleypoet 4 years ago

I felt every word my friend...my Mother has Alzheimer's, she can still smile and appears happy at times, but we know what the future holds...she is in a home now as my Dad cannot cope anymore. It really is a cruel cruel illness...thank you for sharing :-))

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