I have written several poems and songs inspired by people with dementia and those who care for them. I’m delighted to say that one of my poems has just been awarded second prize in the poetry section of the 2016 Carers UK writing competition and has been published in the anthology I belong here. Here’s what the judge, Cheryl Moskowitz, had to say about it:
‘Holding on’ by Heather Wastie is a poem I liked instantly on first reading and one in which I continued to find new meaning and power on each subsequent reading. This is a moving portrait in the voice of a grown up child who must exercise the kind of watchfulness and steely patience in looking after their mother as might be needed to keep a wayward toddler in check. She will plummet to the floor/ to pick up a fleck of fluff, / dart into the road / to pull up a weed.
And yet the mother in this poem has sentient moments in which she dislikes herself and we find ourselves in utter sympathy with the disorder she creates as well as the one who has to learn to cope with it.