For all the pretty curtains and the tasteful prints
and the carers’ determined bonhomie,
this is the house of the mad and my mother
a permanent resident.
Sane, she was aggressive. She is docile now.
She was unsociable, sane. Now she smarms –
at folk she’d once have considered common.
She thinks I am dead or my long dead father.
You’re a nurse or her daughter. Alzheimer’s
is the ultimate in wish fulfilment.
The deranged have no beauty or dignity,