GladToCare Awareness Week poetry challenge 6th-12th July. Join Graham Bibby, Mary Druce, sonja benskin mesher, Yvonne Moura and myself. Let’s celebrate, notice the often unappreciated work of carers, both at home and in carehomes. Please email your poems to me. Monday: Home Carers, Tuesday: Care Homes Wednesday: How Do I Want To Be Cared For, Or Not, Thursday: How I Care? Friday: Who Will Be Choosing My Carehome? Saturday: ‘A day in the life of a loved one in a care home’ Sunday: Why Do We Care? Here are today’s: Wednesday: How Do I Want To Be Cared For, Or Not ?

To be cared for

If I should cease to be automotive
I would wish to be cared for by tall, luxurious giraffes
On rollerskates
holding plates
Filled with tempting treats
Sweetmeats
And fancies
Hippopotamuses wearing tuxedos
Will chauffeur me to posh do’s
Where peacocks will clear the way
As Eagles whoosh me away
To a better day
And my tall and luxurious giraffes

-graham bibby

Stay A Bit Longer

Out of the blue
holds my hand

“Stay a bit longer.”

she says. We sit in plush chairs.

“Not enough tea in this.
It’s just water.

Can you put more sugar in it?

What’s your name again?

Are you Brian?”

I tell her Brian is my dad
and no longer with us.

She holds my hand
on the table.

“Sorry to hear your sad news.”

“He was your husband for a bit.”
I reply

Our conversation amongst the loud shouts,
cutlery clang,
bang of porcelain,
clap
of cupboard doors
make her wince
in the luxury care home.

Is

I was just thinking he says
As he lies in his adjustable bed
My beautiful home in Euxton
and it comes to this.

I remind him the other homes
all stank of stale piss
and he recalls as a county heating engineer
the amount of homes that stank of this.

I need a new bed. he says
This isn’t big enough.
My feet touch the bedstead.
I tell him that as his muscles waste
He has no friction so slips
to the bottom, and has no strength
to haul himself back up.

They keep putting my bed controller

beyond reach so I can’t flatten
the mattress. I tell his key worker
to make a note in his file
that the bed controller must
hang from the middle of the bed
not beyond his reach at top and bottom.

They’ve put a duvet on my bed, again.
I want sheets I can peel off.
Biju, his key worker replaces the plastic
tubes stuck up my dad’s nose.
and says “If he’s not getting oxygen
in his lungs he gets cold.”

“And its come to this. Pass
me my bottle”, my dad says
as he rips off the duvet,
delves into his adult Pampers
and inserts his dick into the bottle.

-Paul Brookes

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