These works of creative non-fiction capture my experiences of gradually losing my father to Alzheimer’s Disease.
One of these pieces, titled Sunlit, caught the attention of another contributor to the edition. Poet Carol Barrett, Ph.D. got in touch to let me know she was applying to carry out a workshop for Oregon Poetry Association. The topic would be The Prose Poem As Memoir, the workshop would take place in September, and Carol wanted permission to include one of my pieces as an example.
I was happy to say yes, and even happier when Carol let me know the workshop had gone ahead, with 33 participants.
Carol wrote: “This community is largely composed of folks over 60, so many have experienced care homes with relatives, or are concerned about whether they will need to take up residence in such facilities. The poignancy of the details came through, as well as the two characters of the speaker and the father. After this discussion, they wrote their own prose poems/vignettes, and some wonderful things were produced.”
Writing has always been a means of making connections for me, and I love the idea of this workshop in Oregon including my thoughts and emotions on a topic that will touch so many of us.
Carol plans to repeat the workshop at Deschutes Public Library in Oregon on 8th December.
Here’s the piece that went on this journey:
He’s on a mission, striding there and back again. Just woken, his steps are slow at first. He lists slightly to one side, one hip shored up for balance.
I shadow him, spilling memories of holidays we shared. He nods politely, then hurries past. So much ground to cover before nightfall. At a locked door he halts, pressing his fingers against metal screws in different configurations. Puzzling it out.
He seems tall today. A silver birch with crooked branches. We turn, walk on, passing beneath an open skylight.
Rain falls through sunlit silver. Droplets catch in his snow-white hair. He pauses, blinking. Connected for just a moment with the world outside.