Of Memories (Insecurity) | poem

For Rita Bonny


I thought I’d found solace in your being still alive,

Still walking, sometimes shakily,
Still breathing, sometimes with a rattle.
False assurances seemed essential

Having watched your mind evaporate


Into a series of repeated questions

And uncertain recollections.


With the realisation that I no longer held a place with you

Most optimistic expectations took a hit.

But still, in a room with a carer

Desperately trying to make conversation,

When you looked from her to me

And rolled your eyes

And resumed watching the television

I had to smile.

At least for now I have my own memories;

Childhood summers, eclairs and cakes,

The smell of loose leaf tea,
Tracing the faded diamond design in the carpet

From the front door, behind the armchairs,
Up to the pea-green curtains.

I remember, just above the honeydew melons,
Kept in their amber dish upon the window ledge,

Watching a wasp, caught on the wrong side of the glass,

Tapping incessantly against a force it didn’t understand

Until it tired and landing

Lay in the gentle summer sun

That shone in through the window.