Robbie’s Inspiration: A poem – She lives, and yet she’s dead

She lives

and yet she’s dead


that once sparkled with joy

now small and mean

watching everything

with criticism

with antagonism

with misery.


She lives

and yet she’s dead


that once flowed unrestrained

now impeded

by the scattered debris

of a shattered mind

dripping sporadically

it never pools


She lives

and yet she’s dead


in family achievement

unfailing support

the family stalwart

now crushed

beneath the daily struggle

to maintain the I


Deep within

the fleshy shell

where once

a soul lived and thrived

remains the spark

of what once was

a mere flicker

for she is dead

and yet she lives.

95 thoughts on “Robbie’s Inspiration: A poem – She lives, and yet she’s dead

  1. Oh, Robbie…So heart-breakingly expressed and felt. Being older, I have heard of too many people it applies to, and has applied to. We must embrace and celebrate each day with passion. Thank you! Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read the comments and agree with the poignant thoughts expressed, but your verse which also suggests that with the loss, new life is sparked in the loved one’s legacy through the descendants. Death may bring rebirth.

    My Aunt Ruthie lived with dementia for nearly hard 10 years, Yet her life has inspired a memoir and another story collection. Thank you, Robbie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked these lines describing her struggle:
    “beneath the daily struggle
    to maintain the I”
    Should the word “critism” be “criticism”? I may have misunderstood it.
    Best wishes to her and her family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Jacqui. I wrote the poem independently of the picture. When I posted it today I though I should add a graphic [as we bloggers are advised to do]. I thought of this picture that I took on the way to work yesterday and it fitted the theme fairly well, so I used it. I agree that the parasite growing on the partially felled tree [Ivy] is thriving.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t say more than what others have said. It’s stark, it’s real, it’s sad. And yet that is so because of the rich life before. And as MarianBeaman said, there is the legacy. The last stanza where you switch the repeating phrase is most effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terri, this is how it appears to family when we lose someone to dementia, but they are still there and occasionally we see a glimmer of them as the last stanza indicates. People also live on through memories and their genetic legacy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Robbie. Having lost my own mom to dementia after a 10-year battle, in March 2020–she still knew us but her short term memory was gone, and my mother in law this year to full-blown Alzheimer’s, I understand the feeling of being alive but dead and vice-versa. Again, a riveting poem.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a powerful poem, Robbie, and I’m so sorry! Our family has experienced this too and it’s so sad. Like you wrote in one of your comments, it’s like losing a loved one twice. True and tragic. Thank you for sharing. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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