Ode to an Epidemic

by Tess Lojacono

I call it an Epidemic, because Alzheimer’s Disease is spreading at an alarming rate. Today, 280,000 Pennsylvanians live with Alzheimer’s disease, 6.7 million Americans suffer with the disease and this number is expected to double by 2060.

Here is one man’s experience with his father’s disease:


by Anthony Walton

He sits, silent, 
no longer mistaking the cable 
news for company—

and when he talks, he talks of childhood, 
remembering some slight or conundrum 
as if it is a score to be retailed

and settled after seventy-five years.

Rare, the sudden lucidity 
that acknowledges this thing
that has happened
to me… 

More often, he recounts 
his father’s cruelty
or a chance deprived 
to him, a Negro
                  under Jim Crow. 

Five minutes ago escapes him 
as he chases 1934, unaware

of the present beauty out the window,
the banks of windswept snow—

or his wife, humming in the kitchen, 
or the twilit battles in Korea, or me

when he remembers that I am his son.

This condition—with a name that implies 
the proprietary, 
and otherwise—

as if it owns him,
which it does.


If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease, please think of us. Fine Art Miracles lifts people with this debilitating illness every day. 


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