This is an old poem I wrote when my grandmother was beginning to deteriorate with early onset Alzheimer’s.  As it happens, and as life goes, my grandfather became suddenly ill not long after this with a severe brain tumour and passed away a year before my grandma.


This was my imagining life without her.

It might seem a funny thing to say, but I’m glad it happened the way it did.  Whilst my grandma missed my grandad so much, I have a feeling he simply wouldn’t have coped without her.  She was a tender woman with an enormous reserve of old-fashioned strength.

The other female mentioned in the poem is my mother.


The world will be poorer
Without the warmth
You lend to the night


You did so much for her

Talked her down
From the moments
That allowed no light

She will miss the affection
With which you call her
And the way you hold
Her tight and press a kiss
To her hair

You were always there
For her


Though you were leaf-like
In your beauty
Tender skin
Upon slender bones

Your appetite grew in later years
Supper time trips
And ice cream cones

And you enjoyed flavours
You’d been indifferent to

At dinner
You’d laugh that sweet laugh
And throw him a playful glance
When he joked
That he couldn’t afford you

And for him,
How can there be anyone
After you
When there was never anyone
Before you?


These days
Crying comes easily
And the whys
Are harder to understand

In the haze
Of what you were going through
When your world no longer
Made sense
It is poor recompense

But I hope I did enough
For you


So even when you must go
I pray you’ll stay close
To home

For they would never tell you

But they’re afraid
To be alone


About Louise

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