Alzheimer’s: Dinner Edition

by Laura Bernstein

The first time my grandma
poured ketchup on salmon,
she gasped at the red-blotched fish.
Her light fist tapped the table.
She covered baked beans
in salad dressing this past month.
Peanut butter spread on asparagus,
coffee stirred with orange juice.
My grandma smeared
the back of her fork on the fish
until ketchup coated each corner.
Tongued a taste
and finished dinner—nothing
was wasted. Oh well,
she said between bites, patted lips
with crumpled napkins. It all
goes down the same pipe.

Laura Bernstein earned a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia and a M.S. in Student Affairs Higher Education from Miami University. She is currently an MFA candidate at Rutgers University, Camden.