Sharon Venezio

Notes for My Mother’s Caregiver

Remember to take off her glasses when she’s sleeping
Her wounds need to be cleaned daily
Rotate her body every four hours
She likes milk in her tea
She shouldn’t eat alone
Cut her food for her
At risk for aspiration
Put on her glasses in the morning
He fixed the fox on me means she doesn’t trust you
Go to her, touch her, talk to her face
Comfort is up to us
Dying should be quiet
She thinks you’re an imposter
She thinks you stole her purse
This is her last summer
Take her teeth out
The roof is leaking means she’s cold
She woke up crying
She thinks she’s in the wrong house
Don’t tell her he’s dead
The creek is rising
She will ask you to rescue her drowning children
Don’t argue with her
Just say: “everyone’s safe”
Lie to her

Sharon Venezio is the author of The Silence of Doorways (March 2013, Moon Tide Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including New York Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, Grew Sparrow, Spillway, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a poetry manuscript about dementia. She lives in Ventura where she is a behavior analyst specializing in autism treatment.