Grandpa Doesn’t Remember Me – Haiku

Grandpa Doesn’t Remember Me – Haiku

i don’t understand

Grandad called me by Mom’s name

to him, i am not


Written for Monday Morning Writing Prompt – Description

Then posted on:

Dversepoets – FormForAll – Haiku and Senryu

picture credit by vintagedept via Flickr

Also posted on:
Poetry Jam

Past and Future – Tuesday December 6, 2011

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on September 28, 2011, in D’verse Poets Pub, Monday Morning Writing Prompt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. This gave me the chills, Bat-Ami. I’m SO glad you wrote this. Dementia described in a few short lines. Thank you.

  2. this is so hard when they can’t remember any more…

  3. What you can do in just a few words. Perfect expression within the form. Very nicely done.

  4. Wow, so sad but so thoughtfully expressed. Nice job with the form.

  5. It’s very touching that you’ve used a child’s voice to describe such sadness.

  6. Nice senryu. I remember when Grandma called me by my mother’s name. Now I consider it a compliment.


  7. The first line immediately sets the tone with the vulnerability of the lower case i – very affecting poem.

  8. The note on the dVerse page broke my heart…your write, even more so!

  9. My dad flew down to Florida yesterday to see his oldest brother who, at about 90, has become irrational, refusing to be intravenously fed, etc., and he thinks that my aunt is conspiring with the nurses to kill him. Anyway…felt like sharing that…in this transparent context.

    One a consonantal note, I think the “d” and “m” sounds make your heartrending senryu even more forcible.

  10. losing memories is sad, well penned Haiku.

  11. Bit sad, but as is life sometimes. You captured a lot in this piece. Well done

  12. gosh this hits the emotions hard…this scares me honestly…i dont ever want to be there…

  13. This was very powerful, somehow surprising despite the title.

  14. My grandfather called me by my aunt’s name in his last years–I didn’t mind as much, though, because my aunt was his favorite child, his youngest daughter, so I felt at least he was still in the ballpark. But sad, still, to see his world shrink smaller and darker around him. As to which side is worse, I’d say the side that knows what’s been lost.

    • I didn’t expect this little haiku to have this kind of impact on people. Thanks for sharing this story. It means a lot to me that it touched you in this way.

  15. Wow. A beautiful interpretation at how the loss feels to the one supposedly not lost.

  16. I like the subtle write of pain and loss thru child and grandparent.. beautiful ~

    My share:

  17. Sorry I’m so slow on my rounds. As you know I’m dealing with cancer here..thankfully no dementia yet, but at this stage awake type sleeping. Getting dazed and unfocused. I don’t want to lose my facilities because I’d be a burden on the ones I love and I can’t see the point of living if I can’t be me, be creative, be useful.

    This was a really tight, precise senryu. In the season of advanced age. I think I’m reading the entire gamut of what can be done in 5/7/5 and realizing that each of us speaking a different language from Japanese, make our own rules. I think it might be pleasant to “try” the renga — maybe on twitter to see how it would “play”. Thanks for posting this. G.

    • I’m glad you took the time to read this and to comment. I’m sorry for what you are going through, and also for your family, who has to go through it with you.

  18. A great senryu. Very poignant in so few words.

  19. wonderful Haiku, capturing the problem of dementia & Alzheimer’s disease.
    compact, meaningful, experiential.
    thank you.

  20. Ah, so sad and so sobering. You’ve told such a long story about a plague humanity faces in such few words.

    Great piece.

    – Nick @ Whispers

  21. *heart~touched* ~
    so few words but you conveyed so much ~

  22. Bat-Ami, I’m visiting here from Poetry Jam. This definitely is so very sad for all of you!

  23. I love how you used the view point of a child for this poem. It is so sad when this happens and even more sad when child does not understand what it happening to a beloved grandparent. Thank you too for visiting my blog and also for linking on Poetry Jam!

  24. This grabs me in the heart. What a meaningful poem and so very sad.

  25. But your presence will not go unrewarded. Somehow, I must believe, we help make their “lost” days more bearable. Truly, a lot of emotion packed tightly in a few words.

  26. Everything about the past seems so sad. Great Haiku.


  27. Deep with meaning ……..

  28. Wow. short yet emotional… well written… 🙂

  29. Powerful and poignant haiku.

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