Drifting Toward Planet Elderly – Poem: Crumble of Jello Cake

December 13, 2019 – evening

Last week Jello cake was served for dessert.  Mom said she was full and didn’t want any, but when she saw the small piece given to me, she changed her mind.

It was fun to see her totally consumed with the pleasure of eating that piece of cake.  When she was almost finished, she said something that became the seed for this poem.


Crumble of Jello Cake

I slipped off her fork

just as the bite I was baked with

approached her open mouth.


It wasn’t a rough landing onto

the beige Formica tabletop–

just a gentle plop behind her cup of tea.


From where I landed

I could see her appetite energized by

the sweetness of red jello blended with

made-from-scratch yellow cake

and topped with a thin white blanket of fluff.


She loved it.

I could tell.

She chewed quickly,

her blue eyes wide with

the anticipation of each bite.


“This is really good,” she said,

stabbing the air with her fork

pointed at the remains on the plate.


But I wasn’t on the plate.

I sat hidden behind her cup

of tea until she reached for it

and took a sip.


Then she saw me.


“Oh, there you are!” she smiled,

tapping me with her fingertip

and sliding me onto her cream coated tongue.


And there I went,

joining my confectionery counterparts

as I slipped my way toward her

delight of what was sweet and soft

and made her smile.




JJ Mummert ©December 2019


About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 70 years and faces permanent residency on Planet Elderly. Update: As of March 2, 2017, I turned 70. I'm now an official resident of Planet Elderly. Dad passed away September 22, 2016. In late March 2017 I was able to move Mom closer to me where she resided at a memory care assisted living community until being downsized to a skilled nursing senior community in October 2018 in Columbia, Missouri. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of our family's journey with dementia. It's quite an adventure. Recommended readings for others who have loved ones who live with some form of dementia: The 36-Hour Day; the website: https://www.agingcare.com/ ; https://www.alz.org/
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