Living in the Shadows, a poem



He stands in the hallway,

while unfamiliar smells

fill his senses,

he waits

for his eyes to adjust –

but sees nothing but shadows.

Now, his wife stands before him,

offering his morning coffee

he recognizes that glint in her eye

and he returns her smile,

but she is no longer there.

On the linoleum,

his children play games,

toys strewn across the floor

he is careful to step,

but then looks away

and they call to him

“look, Daddy, look!”

he looks,

but he no longer sees them.

This is his journey now,

each and every day

sifting through the unfamiliar smells

the unrecognizable corridors

his feet slowly shuffling

in search of familiar voices

and familiar smiles

he travels alone, in the darkness

where all other travelers

are shadows of shadows

quickly fading

and his family sits patiently

waiting for his return

further down the hallway

of the Alzheimer’s ward

faced with the bitter reality

they have been forgotten.


© Sumyanna 2017


Written for The Daily Post Prompt: Bitter

Fabulous image courtesy of


17 Comments Add yours

  1. Silas says:

    I almost teared up. Amazing play of words sumyanna! I’m not quiet adept in writing but I guess if you are able to convey your emotions to the person reading, you have succeeded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you very much Silas. It takes time and lots of practice, but it is possible to get better at it. I’m still striving and I also struggle 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Silas says:

        I agree 😀


  2. leigha66 says:

    My former mother-in-law had this terrible disease… wonderfully well written piece on what they must go through!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      It is such a sad thing to go through. I have seen documentaries about it and I can only imagine that just as the family is struggling, so is the person afflicted (even though it may not be apparent). Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. leigha66 says:

        You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. L.E. Hunt says:

    Wow. I adore the voice in this poem. I always love it when a writer takes the huge step of writing from the POV of someone with a mental illness; it feels sacred somehow. It’s hard to do correctly, but you really gain a new understanding of the illness as the author.


    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you. That is one of the things I like to do often. You can (I think) tell when it is my story, but I often like to bring to live other people’s stories. I find it fascinating. Thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 😯😧such a sad poem , well written 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you very much. Sorry I made you sad 😦 I really enjoy exploring different emotions and different circumstances. I tend to be able to understand how people may feel though I know it is not the same as feeling it. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t apologise for being able to make people feel something through your words, it’s a great skill 🌹


        1. Sumyanna says:

          Truthfully, that is my goal – but at the same time, hate to be the reason anyone is sad 🙂 Thank you Rose Elaine!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. People have to work through their pain to be set free, you help in a gentle way 🌹

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sumyanna says:

            🙂 Thank you.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful and sad poem, Sumyanna. Altzheimer’s is terrible for both the sufferer and their family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      So very true. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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