The Dictator, The Farmer & The Professor

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How do you deal with aging parents facing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? Read the poem and comment below.

The Dictator, The Farmer & The Professor

The DICTATOR thought
The orange
Was the world
And he squeezed the juice
All over
His hospital robe in the clinic
That bore his name
“Naughty, Naughty,” said the nurse
To the man who had ruled a nation
“Yes, Naughty, boy,” she repeated
As she changed his robe to a fresh one

The FARMER thought
The orange
Was a seat cushion
And he lifted his crippled body
Laboriously to
Sit on the orange
And the juice got all over his hospital-issued robe
“Naughty, naughty,” said the day nurse.
“Naughty, boy,” she repeated
And left him dirty
For the night orderly
To change that evening

The PROFESSOR thought
The orange
Was a book
Peeled it open
To read its contents
Juicing his shirt
“I’m a naughty boy, Nurse, I’m a naughty boy”
He said to his wife
And wept at the wet.
She had carefully ironed
And buttoned-on his fresh shirt
this once Sunday visit

And there they were three men
Divided by continents and duty
United in solidarity
Clearly as homage to the famous
Dr. Alzheimer
Who knew once
How to know an orange
For what it was
And told them
Who they were
Though they would never

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