My mother had Alzheimer’s. Well, actually the doctor said it wasn’t possible at that time to distinguish between Alzheimer’s and other similar conditions. This poem is a response to her condition and the research I did at the time. And no, it doesn’t rhyme.
Grasping at Research Straws
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
not so innocent as online florists:
scientists redefining quality of life.
A protein—progranulin-necessary to
nerve cell function; to remembering
luncheon dates and appropriate
behavior for same.
Clinical research indicates inadequate
progranulin production’s a genetic
mutation causing FTD.
Too late for Mother. Send her roses;
long-stemmed burgundy petals
peeling down, like the velvet dress
I once found in the back of her closet:
deliciously sexy on anyone capable
of flirtation and desire…
does progranulin or lack of it affect
Initial research may lead to treatment
in time, but Mother hovers nears the finish.
I wish researchers Mackenzie and Feldman
Mothers with progranulin rich minds.
frontal portal into the brain:
sensors removed, wires crossed.
isolation, depression, short circuitry
rerouting synapse to blank space.
gummed up placque, synapse
box cars skidding off the rails.
scientists probe cause and effect:
in effect the brain shrivels
and we die, wandering homeless
in a vast carapace of skin.