If I Get Alzheimer’s

If I get Alzheimer’s,
I think I’d like to die
before it goes to far.

I think I’d like to leave my family
knowing who I am
and knowing who they are.

I think I’d like my mind to die with me
Instead of going bit by bit—
a memory here, a loved one there…

Either way, I guess, it’s me that’s dying;
for who am I without experience?
Still, I think I’d like all of me to go at once.

Then again,
I say “I think” because
I may not want to die.

I’d hate to write my life away and
then retain enough of myself
to want whatever time is left

only to have it taken from me
because of some paper I signed—
or a poem I wrote when I was 25.