Poems for reflection : Zenia Elavia

I regularly indulge in writing poems and artwork as I believe poetry and art creates avenues for self-expression that cannot be felt through other means of communication. I’m currently in the United States of America, doing a clinical elective in Neurology. I recently came across a patient with Alzheimer’s Disease due to PSEN 1 gene mutation. He had severe cognitive impairment at the age of 49 years. He had forgotten how to communicate or even how to operate his cell phone. He needed help with almost all activities of daily living. Inspite of his difficulties, he still had a smile on his face while in the clinic and gave his wife (caretaker) a side hug while she was narrating how they manage his livelihood. He and his wife inspired me, as to how blessed I am and that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Often, in life we are whining and cribbing about little things and perhaps always craving for more. We are just never satisfied. His wife and him, taught me how to be happy and enjoy life no matter what the circumstances might be.

I penned down a couple of poems.

The first poem, It’s a long goodbye is a sneak peek into the mind of an Alzheimer’s patient.The poem reflects upon the mental battles and struggles faced each day by those with Dementia and the need for a caregiver. Through this poem, I hope people empathise with Dementia patients, give them the love and affection they need and perhaps see the world through their perspective! The poetry is non-fictional.

It’s a long goodbye

It’s starting to get dark,
In my brain’s memory arc
There’s a lot that I’ve learnt,
But, not much that I can recall
I know it’s hidden in there somewhere,
Yet, it’s hard to find it all

As I helplessly meander through this hazy maze,
I am propelled into the ‘I can’t remember’ life’s phase
I hope to have you by my side,
And hereby bestow you to be life’s guide

My life’s good,
When we don’t brood
And you do everything you possibly could to please my mood
I am trying to put together all the puzzle pieces
Hoping they make sense all over again
I promise to hold onto the memories as long as I can

I’m taking my pills,
And doing the best I can
But if ever a day comes when I’ve forgotten you,
I need you to know,

My heart is always with you, even when my mind is in fog

The second poem titled ‘I won’t give up’ was written by me when I faced several rejections during my USMLE journey and it allseemed as daunting prospect of continuing a long and challenging journey in a new country. The poem now motivates me to keep going and remain steadfast in the pursuit of my professional dreams.

I won’t give up

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road u r trudging on goes uphill,
When all your hopes haze,
When you are lost in life’s maze,
When you are broken or probably just froze
And forlorn is the only companion u have
Stand up right, with all your might
And face them all
Don’t let your goals fade

Let go of all dismay
For even the brave,
Have fallen from the cliff of hard times
So U’ve got to put an end to that sorrowful cascade
After all, Broken crayons still colour
And life isn’t all that duller

Yes, life could manoeuvre you,
With its twists and turns
The blows may hurt
But u must learn
To hide ur bruises
And like a spartan, embrace the war
And never give up,
Though your pace might seem slow,
But, you may succeed another blow

Stick to the fight
When you are hardest hit
U never know how close you are,
Ur goal might be so near, even when it seems so far
So don’t give up!!
Coz there ain’t no chance,
No destiny,
No fate
That can circumvent
The firm resolve of a determined soul!

Zenia Elavia, Intern

 @ Dr. DY Patil Medical college, Pune. 

 Medical Student