• Keith Banner


mary has dementia

that is the way it goes

like her mother

but somehow worse

she fell at the dollar

store yesterday

had to go to the hospital

all her dreams got

lost somewhere


the dollar store and

the emergency room

let's not get

too sentimental

but really she was a dead-on

liz taylor lookalike

when she was young


making chocolate-covered cherries

stored overnight

in the refrigerator

to set

all her plans kind of

kept away from the world

by everything she wanted them

to be

and her husband

well it wasn't something we want to

really talk about

how do you make all of it go away?

that was in her eyes

most of the time, that need to make it all go away

in the 80s, 90s,

2000s and beyond

but she kept trying

and everything kind of collapsed

around her

until she needed

to collapse

at the dollar store yesterday

staying up at night

unable to sleep

speaking in tongues

and also maybe


nut-job hymns

that make sense

once you live beyond

your life

and all your kids

either terrible disappointments

or ignoring you because

you love

them and

it gets into faulkner territory

every house she lived in

as a married lady


to the ground

and yet

i remember her as

my aunt

who tried so hard to make things


who wanted it all to

go away so she could replace it


carpets and pillows

and when it's over

she will be ok

when it is over

she will be

in her element

roses and


and violins

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