What is a summary of the poem "Alzheimer's" by Kelly Cherry?


Quick Answer

Kelly Cherry���s poem ���Alzheimer���s��� is about the poet���s father, a former professional musician who develops the disease. A study of memory, the poem walks the old man through familiar surroundings only to confront him with something he doesn���t recognize ��� his wife, the white-haired woman standing in the doorway.

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Full Answer

Written about her father���s struggle with Alzheimer���s, Kelly Cherry���s poem opens with the narrator describing an old man just back home from the hospital ��� somewhat at loose ends mentally as is shown by the collection of items in his suitcase. The poem continues with an inventory of the familiar ��� vines climbing on the house where he lives, the quality of English sunshine, a walkway he built, the car he used to drive.

When he thinks of music, he remembers himself a much younger man, remembers even what he was wearing, and though he remembers that music was important, other concerns have become more immediate. He feels grounded in that he���s returning to a home that he knows, but the same time he���s uncertain how to account for the woman he no longer recognizes who greets him at the door. The poem ends before he asks her ��� his wife of many years ��� who she is.

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