Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sundowning on Seroquel

"Press the red button,"
My Dad says, pressing his thumb.
The TV stays dark.

I pick up his hand.
Nothing is under the hand
Except the bedspread.

I drop his hand down.
"This is just your hand," I say.
"There's no remote here."

Yesterday he reached
Again and again, outstretched,
A long white gaunt arm.

Mumbling, "Give me
A razor, a three inch straight
Razor," to the wall...

"You don't need to shave,"
I blithely assured him, lost
In my own strange place.

"A three inch razor,"
He slurred words, reaching like Marat
At the end, stone white.

"Why?" I asked, lost also.
He said, "To cut the straps off,
Why won't you help me?

"I can't!" I protested,
"You can't get up, you might fall.
"You must stay in bed!"

"Bitch, Just wait 'til you
Want something, see what I do
Then!" he snarled softly.

The ICU nurse
Was busy elsewhere of course.
I stood with Marat.

My Dad, the stranger,
Reaching the taped white arm up,
As if in a play.

The loose end dangled
White flapping tape, the tight end
Held him pinned to bed.

Only a foot could
He reach, the soft restraints held
Tied to the bedframe.

He didn't want safety
He wanted to move, to leave,
To go from that place.

But all he said was,
"A three inch straight razor, now!"
Staring at the wall.

Later we learned Nurse
Had given him Seroquel
"To calm him," they said.

His words slurred, his head
Slid to the side, his eyes drowsed,
But he knew, he knew.

They doped an old man.
His daughter too. I didn't know.
Ah, for the phone app!

Said his Iphone app tells him
Drug side effects quick.

Unlike me, days past
I read, "Seroquel danger,
FDA warning."

What world do we have
When an old man is right and
No one will listen?