"Following is a love letter to my late grandfather who had dementia for many years before he passed away." - written by Rox Kashun.
if she was a fire – warm, sizzling, welcoming – you were a candle, a gentle and proud flame.
bright, screaming giggles littered your flowerbeds in 1997
when us girls danced through them, careful of our knees and your budding forget-me-nots.
“don’t jump in”, my mother warned as i flirted with the edge of your pond,
eyes flickering back to glass doors. to you.
a master of sound, your nimble fingers pressing against ivory
as renditions of Beethoven trickled outside.
your hands were your tools. once a miner, huddled in tunnels under liverpool, once a farmer, cradling skittish baby lambs and once a bus driver, a grey-haired giant carefully commanding schools of unruly teenagers.
to us, you were mozart. a skilled dart-player –
a wistful librarian, a quiet buddhist.
the cruelest way to die is the death before death; the theft of a mind, a slow car accident – a heap of broken memories regulated to ash.
your lilting accent became a cracked nothing. words congealed in your chest at the end. instead we linked little fingers. love transferred by fingertips.
palms and psalms.
our final song.
Rox Kashun is a poet from the South of England.