Were you mine?

Grace Turner

Recently in school we have been looking at poems where the theme is love – maternal, paternal and romantic. As a class we used a title of a poem to inspire us and make us think about what else the poem could be about. I thought about how love can change with age and with emotion. I chose to write this poem as I think this is an important subject that should be addressed and that love can change in different circumstances. My great uncle has recently gone into a care home, and this has brought on many family discussions about dementia and memory loss. I have tried to portray a sense of confusion, but also happiness, as I have seen then in my uncle.

Were you mine?

Strangers. They’re all staring at me.

Sat in a gown, being fed by her.

The nurse comforts me, despite us being strangers.

Why does she hold my hand? Why does she call me dear?


Then a moment of clarity, my wife is sat there smiling at me.

But her eyes aren’t young anymore,

Her eyes are a storm of pain

She reaches out to hold my hand; we’re at our wedding again.

My gown is now a suit; my affection grows and bursts with kisses

Her startled look makes me feel sick.

Is she mine?


Was she mine?

There has been a ceasefire in the war against myself.


But the church walls have to crumble,

And the trenches are rebuilt,

I’m at home, yet I am lost

I let go of her hand and sit back into my cage



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10 Responses to Were you mine?

  1. Avatar
    Christine 2 May 2015 at 7:18 am #

    My husband has dementia. The poem says it all. Thank you for sharing it

    • Avatar
      Grace Turner 4 May 2015 at 4:34 pm #

      Thankyou for taking the time to comment,I’m glad you liked the poem. (sorry about your husband). xx

  2. Avatar
    akay 2 May 2015 at 9:28 am #

    A well crafted and poignant poem on a difficult subject.
    You are clearly a very talented poetess with compassion and insight beyond your years.
    Well done

    • Avatar
      Grace Turner 4 May 2015 at 4:37 pm #

      Thankyou so much! I’m very glad you liked my poem x

  3. Avatar
    Cathy Tall 2 May 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    Dear Grace. What a beautiful piece of writing. You should be proud of yourself and I bet your Uncle would tell you he was proud of you if he was able to. Well done and thank you for sharing this very personal story with the world.

    • Avatar
      Grace Turner 4 May 2015 at 4:38 pm #

      Thankyou so much ,so kind of you to leave a comment. I was not sure if this would be appropriate but I’m very happy that you think so! xx

  4. Avatar
    Anne Omalley 4 May 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Dear Grace
    What wonderful words I have seen the effects Dementia can have on the person and the Family and Friends who live with it day by day. My Aunt had it and you have told her story and so many more who suffer from this. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all may you have a very Happy and Healthy Life .

    • Avatar
      Grace Turner 4 May 2015 at 4:40 pm #

      Thank you for taking the time to reply! I’m so happy that you see this as an accurate representation of dementia. I obviously haven’t experienced it myself, which made it quite difficult but ,again, thank you for your kind words. x

  5. Avatar
    Maggie Keeble 12 July 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Wow – Grace – that’s amazing – and you’re so young. You have a real talent. To have that insight at 13ys is very special. I’m a doctor coming into contact with a lot of people with dementia and you’ve captured the bewilderment and fear associated with the disease. I hope more Health and Social Care Staff find your poem. I’ll share it via the Twittersphere.

    • Avatar
      Grace Turner 27 August 2015 at 6:56 pm #

      Thankyou for taking the time to reply I’m really happy that the poem is realistic and your words are very kind

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