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