The Robbery

A consummate thief,
this Alzheimer's.

Shrivelled body
(there wasn't much of her
For what?
For what is forgotten?

Wringing hands,
her eyes on heater's
cold blue flame,
chants softly her litany:
'God help me.'
Workstained hands
that plumped
a half a dozen pillows
round my head.

Deeply grieving,
she who loved -
no, loves -
Asking, asking
why he hasn't come
who came an hour before:
'God help me!'

In the garden
at the 'home',
her frightened eyes
shot once to mine
and I saw her
still inside.

They led her away,
assuring me
she'd settle best alone.
She wanted me to come,
held out her hand mutely
to mine.
I didn't take it:
God help me.