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"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

James Scannell McCormick

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Early-Onset Dementia

I work today, she texts – a fact, the kind
Of "news" that friends of forty years (and more)
Will swap to brace against the wrench and grind
Of work, loosen the pinch of distance before

The day begins. At two. She's told me so
Already. Three times. And it's not yet eight.
She'll often repeat – as if I didn't know –
When you drive, you have to pull aside and wait

For squads and firetrucks. It's the law! She'll claim,
The day that we moved in, you weren't afraid –
You walked up our driveway and said your name.

It never happened. We met in seventh grade,

Our desks together by chance. On my phone, a few
Moments later: I work today at two.