top of page

Constance Hanstedt



Alzheimer’s Floor


I want to see the manager,

a hunched man in a tattered Cubs cap

bellows from his wheelchair.

I wonder when he’d been shopping last.

Perhaps at Kmart ten years ago

for fishing lures and tackle,

followed by a dinner at Baker’s Square

where he’d made it known

that the roast turkey and stuffing

were dry.


I want to see the manager,

he yells, pointing a bony finger

at the aide in an olive-drab shirt.

Hey punk,

someone’s going to get his ass kicked.

Get his head knocked in.

Chicken shit.


What kind of a hell place is this?

he yells again, parking his wheelchair

at the end of the line in the hallway.

My mother’s mantra as well

although now she fidgets on a vinyl couch

in a diaper and jeans, her jagged nails

rubbing her forehead.


He quiets while others breathe

in raspy spurts, except Teresa

who mutters to herself,

examines the hem of her red sweatpants

as if measuring the inches she’d take up

if only she remembered her days

as a seamstress.


And isn’t this what life is?

Paying attention.

Witnessing long shadows

cast on white-washed walls,

emptiness lying at our feet.




Devorah Baum

Adachioma Ezeano

Matt Hanson

Rebecca Priestley

David Toomey

bottom of page