My father in his dissolution
from dementia once achieved,
it seemed to me, a kind of mastery
one evening at the dinner table
when, dressed-up and looking
quite as if he hadn’t changed at all –
this was four years before his final fall --
his eyes familiarly still bright –
he lightly purposed to invite himself
into the conversation in a spate
of fast elastic syllables which signified
pure play, beyond the bounds of content.
Alzheimer’s can have a style.
I stuttered badly when I was a child.
So had he. Speech for him remained –sometimes remains for me – a trial.