Lobotomy

One usually associates them with,
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
McMurphy’s eggs are scrambled,
And he becomes a vegetable omelette.
His body and his brain are then,
Reunited in death.

Real life is far less romantic.
My grandmother once told me the story,
Of her own mother’s lobotomy.
There were no triumphant escapes,
No mercy killings.
Only tragedy.

Her mother had a brain tumor.
In the 1950s, the usual treatment,
For a brain tumor was surgery.
To cut away the tumor,
Along with part of the brain:
A lobotomy.

Unlike McMurphy, she did not,
End up in a vegetative state.
She was not brain dead.
Instead, she was not she.
My grandmother’s mother,
Had become a different person.

She still recognized everyone.
Still knew who she was.
But her personality was altered.
Her affection now indifference.
My grandmother lost her mother,
Before her mother died.