Friday, 9 August 2013

Conversation With A Ugandan Carer

I won’t say much you’ll remember, you’re the poet, I’m the carer who says goodnight to dementia patients in nursing homes, making sure they’ve swallowed their medication, making sure I am giving smiles and getting them back before I turn out the lights. I am from Uganda, I like England because my dreams are different here, I mean that they are comfortable. I wake up younger if I think about Lucinda. She’s the Jamaican lady in a wheelchair, 79 years in her body, one leg cut off from diabetes but missing no happiness. She’s like a child when she sees me, enough watts in her face to light up any place. Every night she says “hello Africa Man!” and calls me “the happiest neighbour she’s ever had." The dementia tells her that it is 1960-something in Montego Bay and she is living with her father who is a butcher, that’s dementia, an illness with a cleaver. She asks when’s her father’s coming back, I say “soon” and she sits there looking soulful. One night she asked me if I’ve seen many oceans, I said that there aren’t any oceans in Uganda, just lakes and I never had the time to visit them; she says that there is always enough time in our lives to do what we must. 

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