I wrote the first four lines using the ABAB rhyme scheme. The last word of line four was "clutch", so as I entered into the fifth line, I was surprised to find what my gentleman narrator was clutching at. If I was surprised in line five, I was positively startled in line six to learn he had an official diagnosis.
I should mention that these are supposed to be 5-10 minute exercises, and by this point, I'd already put more than three hours into this poem, and I was starting to ponder how to get out of it so I could get back to work on the Jane project, what with Jane standing over my left shoulder, arms crossed, foot tapping, throat clearing and all. And I realized that just as I'd interrupted myself, perhaps someone might interrupt my gentleman writer.
Having given you Angela's response to the short poem, I figured I ought to let you see it. It's no masterpiece, but I don't think it sucks, either. It would undoubtedly benefit from time and revision and a better title; nevertheless, here it is as it now stands:
by Kelly R. Fineman
I know it has been 37 years
since I have been in touch. You meant so much
to me back then. I find, as old age nears,
I think of you quite often, and I clutch
at memories as if they'd hold me afloat,
a life preserver in Alzheimer's sea –
"Excuse me, Mr. Loomis, here's your coat."
"This note – it's to Dolores. Who is she?"
Analysis of form: It ends up being two cross-rhymed quatrains written in iambic pentameter. This means there are five iambic feet per line (taDUM taDUM taDUM taDUM taDUM), and the ending words use the following rhyme scheme: ABABCDCD. The second quatrain is split to make the alternating lines of dialogue easier to follow, but otherwise it's a fairly simple, traditional form.