Bella Shepard


I gathered all of my memories into my arms

And held them tightly against my chest, caressing each

I buried my face in the tattered remnants of years gone by

It’s funny how they still hold the faint scent of mothballs and lavender

Here are memories of life and love

Of promises kept and hopes deferred

Of the person I had been, or wanted to be

Memories still hanging in closets

Tucked neatly into the old oak chest of drawers

Boxes of them stored in the attic

All the hopes and wishes that had gone unfulfilled

Lying side by side with those I had accomplished

But most precious of these are the memories of my beloved family

Just by thinking of their names, I see every detail of their faces

The way they smile, the sound of their voices

And I know that from now on all these memories will begin to fade

Until they’re gone forever

I desperately need to visit each, one last time

So I carry them into the garden and we spend a lovely afternoon together

Reminiscing, laughing, crying

And when the time comes to bid them farewell

I reluctantly stand up, on shaky legs

Look to the sky, and throw them into the air

Watching as they climb higher and higher

Framed briefly against a deep blue background

Then falling to earth, and scattering like so many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle

My life, my being, my memories

I walk among them, and when I reach my door I turn and look back

I must have come out here for a reason, I just can’t remember...

  • Author: Bella Shepard (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: May 27th, 2023 10:10
  • Comment from author about the poem: For a number of years I had the privelege of visiting with Alzheimer's patients in hospice care. Next to the door of each room there hung a framed message, telling who they were, what they had done in their lives and things they enjoyed. This one is for those friends.
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 20
  • Users favorite of this poem: L. B. Mek, MendedFences27, Rocky Lagou, Teddy.15.
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  • orchidee

    A thoughtful write Bella.

  • sorenbarrett

    This is often sadder for those watching than those that go through it. What they often experience is confusion and frustration. Those lucky enough to be trapped in a good spot are happy and those trapped in a sad spot relive times of sadness in their lives. You have written this with such a haunting feel Bella it does somehow feel lost. So well done.

    • Bella Shepard

      Thank you for your kind words my friend. And you are right about those who must watch as a loved one slips away, it is heartbreaking.

    • Neville

      Heart-wrenchingly real and heartbreakingly sad .. I know for a fact, both professionally and from personal experience of insidiously loosing loved ones and those I hold dear .. the beast is so indiscriminate and has no pride whatsoever .. it touches and steals away whomsoever it pleases .. I seriously pray that before too long, it will have had its day by virtue of new and innovative medical advances .. Sadly this must surely now be my favouwrite Bella Shepard post to date .. Neville πŸ’œ

      • Bella Shepard

        Dearest Nev you have such a loving and caring heart that shines through in every way. I know that your life experience has given you great compassion and understanding for those in pain both mentally and physically. Your thoughts and comments are valued more than you could know. God bless you my dear friend, and may good things always come your way.

      • rhmn_7

        Some memories hold a sweet scent, others a bitter taste. But embracing them all together shows how much one has matured.

        • Bella Shepard

          Well said dear poet, thank you so much for reading and for your thoughtful words.

        • L. B. Mek

          'It’s funny how they still hold the faint scent of mothballs and lavender

          Here are memories of life and love
          Of promises kept and hopes deferred'

          'I desperately need to visit each, one last time

          So I carry them into the garden and we spend a lovely afternoon together
          Reminiscing, laughing, crying'
          (even devoid of the Alzheimer's context
          these sentiments of longing
          ring true for most of us
          'as time goes by')
          you have me in tears, kind Poet
          thank you!

        • Bella Shepard

          Thank you so much my cherished friend. I love that you saw those sentiments in all of us, it is an unavoidable part of life, that we reflect and perhaps better understand their value. I truly appreciate the fav. God bless!

        • MendedFences27

          Wow! This is so bittersweet that it is beautiful. I've never seen the experience of Alzheimer's presented in such a graphic yet understanding way. It is a tearjerking poem, yet I felt it as a clearly visual scene. Just wonderful. - Phil A.

          • Bella Shepard

            Your comments are so kind dear poet, thank you for reading and sharing. Your fav is truly appreciated.

          • Teddy.15

            Dear Bella, Bursting with empathy and compassion. Wonderfully written πŸ€—

            • Bella Shepard

              Thank you so much dear friend. Imagine my delight to see you here. I've been gone for two weeks on vacation, and then a third week when my husband came back with a case of legionelle pneumonia and ended up in the hospital, just now able to catch up with everyone. Thank you for the fav, and take care dear Teddy.

            • Pop64

              While a beautifully formatted and flowing read, it contains the maudlin ideal of memories, how we might lose them and how we can gain them and treat them. A treat for the reader, but a sad truth for he or she suffering from this dilemma.

              • Bella Shepard

                You are a wise and knowing poet, and I always look forward to your comments. Thank you!

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