In the collection of poems Mourning in the burned house by Margaret Atwood there is a section devoted to the slow but definite decline of an aged father. In this section, one of the poems is called “King Lear in Respite Care” and from that poem is this passage
Who knows what he knows?
Many things, but where he is
isn’t among them. How did it happen.
this cave, this hovel?
It may or many not be noon.
Time, person and place. So rudimentary. Yet so necessary.
And in the final poem in this section, recounting the emergence from a dream state, the speaking voice recognizes “It always takes a long time / to decipher where you are.”
And so for day 621