She is a metal forged by love
too volatile, too fiery thin
so that her substance will be lost
as sudden lightning or as wind.
And yet the ghost of her remains
reflected with the metal gone,
a shadow as of shifting leaves
at moonrise or at early dawn.
A kind of rapture never quite
possessed again, however long
the heart lays siege upon a ghost
recaptured in a web of song.
Originally written by the author of A Streetcar Named Desire for his institutionalized sister, I feel that these poignant words have strong resonance for those of us who have family members afflicted by dementia. It captures the heartbreak of a loved one so close and yet so far.