Shortly after the dementia diagnosis, my mother,
who had always had problems telling a straight story,
became a most unreliable narrator.

She was convinced neighbors stole her newspaper,
emptied (or filled) her gas tank,
hid her mail.

She said, “Somebody somewhere.”   

I should have known not to ask questions.

I asked where the little Christmas tree was,
so cute with the miniature ornaments
and tiny lights, the perfect size for her side table.   

She said, “Somebody somewhere.”*  

I wondered where her dentures had gone,
why her coat was covered with flour,
how her glasses broke.
I picked rice out of her hair,
scrubbed ketchup off her cupboards.   

She said, “Somebody somewhere.”   

I found loose meds in the teacups and in dusty corners.
The fridge held nothing but freezer-burnt fish and a root beer Popsicle.
She repeated the same stories in the same order over and over.
She wore the same clothes day after day.   

The arrival of caregivers confused her, made her anxious.
They were telling lies about her to the priest.
They were pumping carbon monoxide into her house.

Somebody somewhere was out to get her.*  

During that beginning of what was the end, I lay restless at night,                                              having one wish for any star that would hold it.

Please let Mom remember that somebody somewhere loves her.