TULIPS by Sue Hansard

TULIPS: was written after one of Sue's visits to her Mum when she was in a care home. 'Tulips' was shortlisted in 2016 in the Alzheimers' society poetry competition.

Handheld bunch of multi-coloured tulips sitting on the table above open book. Top view, flat lay, from above. Spring background. Relaxing at home concept.


You reach, warily.

You extend long, bony fingers

and delicately

caress the flowers I have brought.


Your own mother’s hands

I think, not yours.


like a flicked switch,

your blank eyes


and I can almost see

your shrinking brain,

processing the reds and yellows

and the softness against your fingers.


I see you

as your features soften

and a smile

transforms and animates you.

For a few garnered moments

we are connected,

mother and daughter

and tulips…….

'Beautiful’ you whisper

and I have to agree

……..it is !


Read more from Sue


Dementia - Finding Mum by Sue Hansard Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist, Mentor, Educator and Writer at FIRST LYMPH CARE



Sue Hansard is trying to redress the balance about living with and caring for someone with Dementia. This is written from Sue's perspective and in part, is her way of honouring her Mum and celebrating the relationship that they were able to develop and cherish, because of dementia. Sue welcomes feedback and sharing. "Two years ago my lovely, gentle Mum died. She was 85yrs old. Six months before she died, she could still touch her toes, or do high kicks when sitting in her chair! Her hearing was acute (at times) and she had excellent hand-eye co-ordination. But, she could no longer communicate verbally. She could not string words into a meaningful sentence. She didn't KNOW who I was. Though I do think she knew that I was someone familiar, with whom she felt safe.