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  • Buffy Burnett

For the Bryant’s

This poem is dedicated to the Bryant’s: Stu, Moe, Katy, and Jessica. Their struggle with frontotemporal dementia was featured in this LA Times article by Thomas Curwen.




the promise of you is in that shirt waving to us empty in the doorway long sleeves clean cotton fresh press mom may still iron and hang to smooth our transition without you a perfect sail flapping in the doorway beckoning us to find you again



you push the dog with one foot as he grumbles from ottoman empire mercy to friends who no longer visit a man named Stu the dad who looks the same driving a golf cart, reading the paper, or watching TV even the security camera sees you stealing without intent the invader in your mind frontotemporal dementia

now we must defend you tree, ball, flag the same three words a doctor asks you to repeat within minutes you cannot recall the unicorn or why you love mom

and then we see you the recognition our photo on the mantle Moe, Katie, and Jessica he would tell you if he could how much he wants to stay

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