Widowhood in the Dementia Ward

By FINUALA DOWLING

 

“Oh my God, I’m so pleased to see you,”
she says from her nest of blankets.
“I’ve been meaning to ask—
How is your father?
How is Paddy?”

“He died,” I say, remembering 1974.

“Good heavens, now you tell me!
How lucky he is.”

“You could join him,” I suggest.

“I didn’t like him that much,” she replies.

 

 

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.

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Widowhood in the Dementia Ward

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