This elegantly written sequence explores the challenges of caring for a partner with Parkinson's disease and dementia. In language that is simple, supple and remarkably fresh, Pippa Hawkins' poetry is compassionate and honest. The quality of observation makes this spare, honed sequence all the more poignant. An intelligent and engaging pamphlet, this is important writing communicated with grace and subtlety.
This collection speaks universally, as all of us will no doubt at one time be carers. It is never sentimental, but grasps the issue with a clarity and emotional honesty that is deeply moving, documenting the process of decline and the despair experienced by the carer as the great and gradual loss is acted out in front of them. 'I hear/a tiny note/emerge from the storm,/it swells into a/single syllable –/help'. I am sure many people will find comfort in the recognition that they are not alone.
Extract from 'The Dosette Boxes'
Pink replaces lost brain cells, a white one slows your bladder,
the brown one speeds your bowels.
I clip the lids shut, set them
in order beside your bed. Later
I see your hands fumble to release
your three hourly taste of hope …