Your First Cognition Test?


Your First Cognition Test?


To prepare. memorize a clock and draw one.  Indicate it is ten to two.  Make sure the arrow is inside the clock.  Do not look at your phone while doing the test.   Yes, you have been doing this test for 22 minutes.  Very good, but no one cares.

Next how many animals can you name?  I suggest you start with a memory of visiting a zoo.  Domestic animals might be limiting, especially if they ask for 20.  Oh, and remember this. The doctor might ask you at the end of the session how many animals you remembered.  No one will ask you the names of all the dogs you owned so don’t strain your brain trying to remember those.  

 The doctor will now say,” I will read you a story, then you will answer a few questions.  The stories are mundane, no fear of James Joyce.

 The questions will concern names of places and characters.  I love the narrative test in its entirety because it is much easier for me.  Some doctors do not use it because it takes too much time. My old doctor told me I did better than she would have on that test.  On to Math--no paper, no pencil, all in your memory. You have ninety dollars.  You buy three dollars’ worth of candy and a tricycle for fifteen seventy-five.  How much money do you have left?  When we are finished, the doctor said she saw a mild cognitive loss.  But she never saw me trying to figure out math problems in high school without paper and pen and discreetly using my fingers and my toes.  

 She advises me to never take sleeping pills because they are responsible for language loss. The doctor ends the session by telling me there are medicines for cognitive loss but none of them work.  Start doing crossword puzzles but do not do research.  I realize I will definitely feel an expansive loss and should stay with reading difficult novels that no one else gets and do that because I love the stories and I will never have to answer a question.


Mare Leonard


Mare Leonard is an Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She has published 4 chapbooks, The most recent, The Dark Inside My Hooded Coat, was published at Finishing Line Press in 2018.  Her first full-length book, I Always Knew This, should be available in April She was nominated for a pushcart in 2018 for a poem in The Pickled Body. Her work has appeared in Ariel Chart. 

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