A nurse came in to greet me,

At least  she said she was;

She called me by a name I didn’t know,

She stuck a thing Inside my mouth

and held me by my wrist;

She asked me did I feel the need to go?

Go? I wondered. Where should I go,

and who would take me there?

She saw confusion on my face,

and said “to the bathroom over there”

I wondered what a bathroom was,

And what would I do once I was inside,

The nurse then asked, did I need help?

Of course not, I straightforwardly replied.

Then a man walked into the room;

He was my doctor, that is what he said.

He asked me how I felt today;

I asked what happened, did I hit my head?

The man and woman then both laughed

As though I had said something very funny,

The nurse said you have been here quite a while,

And will stay as long as there’s still any money.

While I wondered what that was,

a young girl came in carrying a tray

and said “Well, here’s your breakfast, mam–

I hope you’re feeling more yourself today”

More myself? and who was I?

These strangers seem to know much more than I.

I felt the tears begin to fall and

had myself very good long cry.


Sandra Lee Smith


This poem is in memory of my mother, Viola Beckman Schmidt

Who had Alzheimer’s and then Parkinson’s disease as well–

but the general good health of her body lasted far longer

than her mind.

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