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Poem: Parkinson's and My Mum 

Parkinson’s and My Mum

Parkinson’s had my Mum
And the world narrowed to a shuffle.
A clock without rhythm
No beat, no time
Each morning’s stumble to the bathroom
A hill that became a mountain climb.
A frenzy of fingers
Fastening buttons, hoisting tights,
Slippers to fit, blouses, tops—
An endless fight.
For the wires were down
The messages garbled
The movements scrambled.
“When does this Parkinson’s end?”
She would ask.
No-one would tell her—it was there to the last.
A weekly life reduced
To seven plastic pill coffins
A compartmentalised existence
With inviting sliding lids.
Afternoons and evenings spent
Slumped in her chair—
Eyes closed, watery mouth open,
But still with us, still there
She told me she would sometimes dream
That she was cured
Would wake with remembered mobility
Expect to stretch and walk
And laugh. A cruel joke.
And so we all stumbled on to
The final fall
The final scene
A white stiff body on a white still bed.
My Mum and Parkinson’s
Companions—
They died together.

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