Anthony Walton Poem Selected for Poem-a-Day

By Rebecca Goldfine
"Alzheimer's," by Senior Writer-in-Residence Anthony Walton, is today's Poem-a-Day, a daily feature on the Academy of American Poets website,
Screenshot of part of the poem

Poem-a-Day subscribes about 300,000 readers, according to Walton. "It is a big deal for poets in general, and for me specifically," he said. "It's an honor to be recognized by the Academy."

The piecedescribes Walton's father and how, when he is not silent, he is lost in memories from years ago, failing to notice what is happening around him—"the present beauty out the window, the banks of windswept snow"—or his wife, humming in the kitchen.

“This poem derives from my (and my family’s) experience with the last ten years or so of my father’s life," Walton said. "It attempts to fathom not only my own confusion and upset but also to understand and be compassionate toward what he himself was experiencing. The circumstance was both sad and tragic, and also angering, because, in my judgment, he in no way deserved what and how he was suffering. He was a husband, a father, a veteran, a church leader, a tireless community leader. So, it is an attempt at making peace, both with myself and the circumstances.”