Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Daughters of Dementia

She’ll be coming for them soon
dolled up in her dangling earrings,
purple lips and orange hair.
She’ll be coming in her layers
of mix-matched dresses and pants,
garments to shield her sacraments.

But until then the daughters
will be sitting around the table
sculpting syllables into words,
sucking chocolate-covered raisins
and sipping plum brandy.

Oh yea, Mother.
She’ll be coming for those daughters
soused up, talking Jesus,
never again,
and Chinese Jews.

Grandma Dementia’s waiting for her girls
and don’t they know it
all wrapped up in meter and line.
They’re expecting to be found.
But not now, Sisters, not now.

-Esther Altshul Helfgott
originally published by Poetry Bay On-Line Magazine

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