"Beasts" by Carmen Giménez Smith, a teacher at New Mexico State University, was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on December 12, 2013. A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:
The poem is presented in sixteen couplets of uneven free verse. The first person singular in the poem is the poet. This is a deeply personal poem about her mother who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. However, as this disease affects so many people directly or indirectly, the poem has a universal quality.
I have not ever had a close relative with this awful disease and, Lord willing, never will. However, as a physician, I have attended to many patients who suffer from it. I believe Ms. Smith's poem beautifully captures the mixed emotions that occur in the close relatives cum caregivers of Alzheimer's sufferers.