Odd One Out in the Dementia Ward

By FINUALA DOWLING

 

It’s a cold, bleak day
which might explain why she says:
“This is my daughter Nuala,
who has come all the way from South Africa to visit me.”

“Though,” she adds, looking at the nurse,
“by the looks of you, you come from there too.”

Well satisfied with her own civility,
she whispers: “I was going to say:
This is my daughter Nuala—
she’s just a little bit odd.”

 

 

Finuala Dowling‘s poetry collections include I Flying, winner of the Ingrid Jonker Prize; Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, joint winner of the Sanlam Prize and Notes from the Dementia Ward, winnter of the Olive Schreiner Prize.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

Odd One Out in the Dementia Ward

Related Posts

view of valley from mountain

August 2022 Poetry Feature: Nathan McClain—from PREVIOUSLY OWNED

NATHAN MCCLAIN
Had I not chosen to live there— / among the oaks and birches, / trees I’d only ever seen in poems / until then…spruce, pine, / among the jack-in-the-pulpit / (though I much preferred “lady slipper”) / the tiger lily, milkweed, the chickadee / and blue jay, even the pesky squirrel

Park Bench

Translation: Poems by Juan de Dios García

JUAN DE DIOS GARCÍA
He speaks to us of Finnish lakes, of a dialect populated by birds and fruit, of high wooded hills, perpetual snow, a petroleum sky. “In the north they’re raised on melancholy,” he says, “and their dead weigh more than those from here.” He speaks of a Greek father and a war.

car crash

July 2022 Poetry Feature

ZACK STRAIT
Like two passengers / in a wrecked automobile: // our eyes are fixed / on the sonogram screen— // an upside-down window / with no wiper blade // to sweep away the rain— / as the technician // inserts a long probe / and whispers, Come on. // Come on. The storm / approaches slow...