by David Leek
Nature has provided me with
Her own celebratory plaque.
It is white and, I believe, quite pure.
It fills my mind,
In a manner of speaking.
I had not previously heard
The mysterious and alliterative term,
I must admit, it has a certain authoritative ring.
Medical titles usually do,
And this one is quite official sounding.
It tells the story of a slow, crustaceous process,
Sort of like the accretion of silt
At the bend of a river
Where movement is diminished
And small bits of detritus,
No longer carried forward with enough motion,
Begin to drift downward
Until they settle, softly,
At the bottom.
Memory, like the drifting silt,
But, it is a slow process.
And I am not yet entirely transformed
From flowing river to fen.
Sometimes I feel frightened
By the future I imagine.
But, really, my fears of what may come
Are quite likely to be forgotten
Once the process is complete.
And, as I write this
I hold tightly to my secret weapon,
My willingness to live now, in this moment,
With its ever-changing kaleidoscope
Of texture, temperature, sound
And every other sense that brings me
The wonderful awareness of living
David Leek, a retired psychoanalyst, began writing poetry after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. Each week on Wednesday, he and a friend from California speak on the phone and decide on a topic to write about that day. They then take an hour to write a poem before meeting up again via video chat to share their work with each other. David wrote “It’s All Good” in 2018 about his experience with Alzheimer’s. David’s wife, Ania, types out each of his poems and keeps a record of all he has written. She says,”David has always loved words — puns, word play and such — and his language is just beautiful. The poetry has been such a blessing.”
David and his wife live in Federal Way, Washington. They moved to this area from Callifornia a few years ago to be closer to their daughter and new grandson, who is now a year-and-a-half old.