were the two poems I submitted to the National Memory Day Creative Writing Competition:
We had already experienced active faults,
grandparents who were victims of age assaults,
unable to name the rumbles and shakes
of dementia earthquakes.
And then we noticed your primary waves
of forgetfulness, distance and those days
when you disappeared behind blue eyes,
paralysed with fear
because words had slipped
through cracks in your asthenosphere.
Now words are dust in your mouth
and memories aftershocks in your head.
Some days a smile I recognise waves
for a second
and then it is replaced by a face
cracked with the strain
of working out who I am
Her language is frozen
ice on a winter pond,
her silent memories
trapped in silver bubbles
and dementia’s undertow.
Now her soul wobbles across
the cracked surface
with pigeon steps.
Kim M. Russell, 2017