Your glasses are on your head.
Your keys are in your other pants.
The mayonnaise is in the refrigerator door.
My fear is waiting on the bedside table.
The light bulb for the track light in the study is available online.
Your password is Stephanieoxox.
Don’t forget to buy a spare.
My grief is in my purse.
If you’ll dust the downstairs, I’ll handle our average tragedy,
tucking it into bed at night and making sure to take it on a walk.
If you’ll stay a little longer
I’ll take it.
Take it however I can get it.
The good days or the blank ones
when you stay in bed, sick as a four-year-old.
If you stay,
I’ll be the catch-it bowl for you.
You can throw everything in me
and know always
always where it is.
Stephanie Peco authored this poem in 2013 in a Badgerdog writing workshop for caregivers offered by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. The workshop was offered alongside a Mobile Art workshop for care-recipients, in which Stephanie’s husband, Keith, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, created paintings, collage, and sculpture. Stephanie’s poems and Keith’s artwork were published together in an anthology titled When I Bloom. This unique project was funded by Health’s Angels, a program of St. David’s Community Fund.