Dignity And Pride (Part One) . Poem by PAUL COLVIN

Dignity And Pride (Part One) .

(Written on the bus going home from work after a very brief
meeting with an elderly patient in Charing Cross Hospital) .

Confused and dazed he walks the ward, day and night,
Can’t tell the difference between dark, between light,
Unsure of his stature or the role he’s to play
From pillar to post he’ll wander all day.

His nurses are servants but he feels he’s in gaol
With all doors secured and no chance of bail.
A fortress, a prison, his description, not mine
He’s done nothing wrong but still serving time.

He just wants to leave and stands by the doors
And when someone nears, he begs, he implores,
“Please take me home, just get me out”
So broken and tearful, he can’t even shout.

He’s adamant, proud but his eyes tell a tale
This once upright man is destined to fail.
He cannot be trusted to be on his own
For back to a baby, this old man has grown.

The highlight for him, is a breath of fresh air
And have just one cigarette with the people “out there”
But once he’s outside, the panic sets in
He shuffles, then freezes, amidst all the din.

I don’t know his illness, dementia or worse.
Maybe it’s age or was he blessed with a curse?
He sits down to coffee but then walks away,
His coffee’s untouched from a brain now decayed.

A green yellow glaze discolours his eyes
With a vacant expression of thoughts, I surmise
Of constantly pacing the floor all day long
And asking himself, “Where do I belong? ”

This educated man once had thick golden hair,
A scholar perhaps, quite suave, debonair.
Now the blond’s grey, his youthfulness gone,
He needs special care, all day long.

I’m not his carer, I couldn’t handle the stress,
He just wants his life back, no more and no less.
This could be you with your life totally wrecked
But he still has dignity so show some respect.

His life once so rich now lies in a heap,
Memories treasured, he no longer can keep.
Through no fault of his own did he end up this way,
His memory’s dying, it’s dying each day.

The helplessness, hurt and the pain deep inside
Reflects in his eyes through the tears he has cried.
He’s breaking his heart but doesn’t know why,
He only seeks solace, like you or like I.

Shirley Grant 18 December 2014


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Vipins Puthooran 25 September 2011

Oh no! It's so touching truth.. It wincing my heart We will be as half-dead if we lose our memory.. You write it very well here. Fantastic poem.10+++

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