by Jenny Simnett
“Suspended in an unknown world,
Midway between life lived and future oblivion
A droplet of man erodes in slow burning acid.
A hand held or a back stroked is futile
In calming your spasms of distress.
Dementia Demon grasps your wizened throat:
Simple words dissolve like aspirin on your lips.
You shuffle, feet clinging to something solid,
You shout and flay which prompts the care
From faceless uniforms with drugs to make you forget.
A squeeze of my hand leaves nail prints of blood
The blood which binds us still closer.
Dementia Demon commands your muscles to punch
Belying a wasted skeleton hung with sad skin.
A neglected television whispers in the corner
Once beloved Sinatra just another noise in your head
Your rich life shrunk to two antiseptic rooms
The last meal forgotten, you eat like an animal starved
Wearing strangers’ clothes elasticated with lost identity
Dementia Demon surprises me with a furtive kick
And I sidestep the blow with familiar routine.
Our family roles reversed as you float out of reach
I fight institutional battles for you now
While you wrestle the internal living death.
Touch is our only profound connection
Parent and child rocking in comfort
Dementia Demon, your master of confusion
Gloats, as we both gaze at a stranger.”
A poem submitted by Surrey resident, Jenny Simnett. Thank you for your wonderful contribution.