When The Music Starts
An Alzheimer Song

by Cindy St. Cyr
I wrote this poem based on my experiences performing for
those suffering with Alzheimer's & Dementia.
CinCyr-ly with Love,
Cindy

“Help me, help me!” she cries all day.                
The preacher shouts blasphemies,
it’s all he can say.

One skipping back and forth ‘cross the room,
one catatonic, can’t eat, dress or move,
but all of this changes

When the music starts

Doorways locked like a prison cell,
holding them captive against their will.
“Let me out!” is their daily cry.                                

Treasured memories slip away                             
little by little every day,                        
yet they return         

When the music starts

Children who have forgotten their own,
sit mindlessly in a world
that seems cold.

They forget the past, yet one thing remains,
the memory of music fills them
with joy once again

When the music starts

Like butterflies emerging from caterpillar shells,         
transformations take place,                                   
no longer in hell                                               

Their frail little bodies gain strength to stand.
Up out of their wheelchairs                                 
they begin to dance

When the music starts

With musical instruments they play:
some keep the rhythm,
some just sway.

The joy on their faces that the music brings,
gives hope to their families
as the singer sings

When the music starts

They say words of love, so encouraging,
“Don’t ever leave us!
Don’t ever stop coming!”

“You make us so happy!  You’re going to heaven!”
The joy of the moment,
gone in just seconds.

When the music starts

Inside their own world they come alive
Looping new memories,
leaving old ones behind.

Their families cry tears of sadness begot        
because of the day when all is forgot,                
except for the music.         

When the music starts.
May 2004 copyright