“Funhouse Mirrors”





Stolen voices and lyrics trapped in Memories web. Every so often a melody escapes to be hummed endlessly until it returns to the fold. Missing thoughts and recent reminiscences struggle to be heard through a tangle of intersecting snarling synapses all vying for entrance into my cerebral highway. I beat my head against my hands then someone puts a record on the old Victrola and it all comes back to me. Ella Fitzgerald – “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” (1938) http://youtu.be/fDt5sxizup8

A-tisket, a-tasket A brown and yellow basket I sent a letter to my mommy On the way, I dropped it I dropped it, I dropped it Yes, on the way I dropped it A little girlie picked it up And put it in her pocket She was truckin’ on down the avenue But not a single thing to do She went peck, peck, pecking all around When she spied it on the ground She took it, she took it My little yellow basket And if she doesn’t bring it back I think that I will die A-tisket, a-tasket I lost my yellow basket And if that girlie don’t return it Don’t know what I’ll do Oh dear, I wonder where my basket can be (So do we, so do we, so do we, so do we, so do we) Oh gee, I wish that little girl, I could see (So do we, so do we, so do we, so do we, so do we) Oh, why was I so careless with that basket of mine? That itty bitty basket was a joy of mine A-tisket, a-tasket I lost my yellow basket Won’t someone help me find my basket And make me happy again, again? (Was it green?) No, no, no, no (Was it red?) No, no, no, no (Was it blue?) No, no, no, no Just a little yellow basket A little yellow basket

Skip. Skip. Scratch. Pop. Basket. So do we. Basket. So do we. Girl. Yellow. Mnemosyne Bring it back. Bring it back. Mommy I Lost it. Please forgive me.

The Forest in Winter at Sunset by Theodore Rousseau
The Forest in Winter at Sunset by Theodore Rousseau

While I was composing this I thought about my Aunt Helen who got Alzheimers at age 87. She passed away from a stroke at age 89. I used to help her with shopping and she knew she was losing her short term memory. The Colliding Title, song & painting all symbolize the internal collision within the brain. Anyone with an elderly relative who has Alzheimer will understand this poem. I tried to mimic the persons mind. My Aunts and parents were from the Greatest Generation. Surviving Jim Crow, the Great Depression and WWII. For those who are still here Life’s a Trip to The Make Believe Ballroom. Hats off to them!!

7 thoughts on ““Funhouse Mirrors”

    1. My goal was to capture the confession and unstructured memories of older people with Alzheimer’s. My Great Aunt who is 98 has Alzheimers and she was born in 1916. Two of my Aunts (My Dad’s sisters) had Alzheimers and they were born in the 1920s. For Elderly people born during World War I, World War II and the Great Depression this song by Ella Fitzgerald would resonate with them. They remember things that happened 40 or 50 years ago but have no short term memory. You could say I got inside the mind of a person with Alzheimers or dementia. Hopefully this will NOT happen to me in the next 25 or 30 years!!

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