Poem introduction

I've written two poems, both of which are narrated by people with dementia. I am involved in a little charity called Kissing it Better, which sends teenagers, mainly, into care homes to read poems and sing to people with dementia, and I've been very very impressed, amazed often by the effects that these recitals have. I've seen a large number of very distressed people almost miraculously calmed down, at least for the time being by this, and of course while I have been in the care homes I have also made a mental note - never an actual note - but a mental note of speech patterns and things said and I wanted to try to make some of these into poems, and this one has a made up name, 'Audrey Wills.' The person I was thinking of when I wrote this has some sort of multiple personality disorder.

Audrey Wills

Two Late Portraits

1. Audrey Wills

I was a Brixham girl

and Dad's boat was

the pride of the fleet

 

every day

when they came ashore

   I had my pick of the mackerel

   beautiful

shiny blue suits

 

then again

I was stationed on the flying boats

that was a lovely time

they came in    very low over the water

or seemed to

 

ask yourself

what will you remember

 

In Llandudno   on honeymoon

singing at night   can you hear me

singing   and

I painted my toenails red

      I still do this

by myself

that's me there

dancing round and round the house

without a single brown penny in my purse

 

you see what I am saying

I am living

every colour except grey

 

and     you would not believe

     I have

looked after everyone     O

but I have

when I go to the doctor now

I find the door    closed

  do I knock    what

 

do I do

 

I sing

 

come in    I am Richard    I landed

on Gold Beach    I am Peter

I was married to Steve for 57 years

      I am Helen aged 72

              and I do tatting

I am Ali a widow     I am Ron

and I enjoy boiled potatoes

     and a drop of broth

I am not a lover of sweet things

 

as for me    I am Audrey    Audrey    open

the window

     and let me hear the seagulls

          le me hear the seagulls flying across

 

as for me     I love God and     I want to die

     what better thing is there   to live for

 

 

 

 

 

 


Faber and Faber

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Andrew Motion

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1In the Attic

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2Anne Frank Huis

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3The Letter

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4A Blow to the Head

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5The Spoilt Child

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6To Whom It May Concern

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7Goethe in the Park

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8On the Table

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9Fresh Water

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10Serenade

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11The Dog of the Light Brigade

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12Mythology

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13A Glass of Wine

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14The Fox Provides for Himself

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15Closing the Curtains

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16Red Gloves

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17Veteran

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18Twitching

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19Passing On

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20The Mower

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21The Life of Harry Patch

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22The Death of Harry Patch

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23Now Then

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24A Pine Cone

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25The Gardener

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26Holy Island

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27The Discoveries of Geography

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28Audrey

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29Swim

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30The Fish in Australia

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31The Mill

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32Laying the Fire

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33Through the Lych Gate

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