Elegy for Rose

She is a metal forged by love

too volatile, too fiery thin

so that her substance will be lost

as sudden lightning or as wind.

And yet the ghost of her remains

reflected with the metal gone,

a shadow as of shifting leaves

at moonrise or at early dawn.

A kind of rapture never quite

possessed again, however long

the heart lays siege upon a ghost

recaptured in a web of song.

~Tennessee Williams

Originally written by the author of A Streetcar Named Desire for his institutionalized sister, I feel that these poignant words have strong resonance for those of us who have family members afflicted by dementia. It captures the heartbreak of a loved one so close and yet so far.

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