My great grandmother would wander
into busy streets and lose herself in her own bed
before the end, before her Dementia took her.
The Eastern Promenade—
a home for hundreds of clam shells, the hue of
heavily used denim. As I lie on the sand, and
look at the shells,
I see the color of my mother’s
favorite china set: cobalt blue.
The dishes appear breakable,
but they have outlasted
our holiday gatherings and untamable hunger.
I worry my mother will get Dementia and
forget who I am—the way she loves
my singing voice.
my mother’s final months will be
like great grandmother’s—her small hands
shaking, her feet
running away with her mind.
The things we inherit—
china dishes and cause of death.
My gynecologist reminds me every year
that my grandmother died of Ovarian Cancer,
and he congratulates me each time my pap smear