One of the best of minds
destroyed by dementia
does not howl on her knees
in the street, does not masturbate
in the magnolia living-room,
is not dragged off the roof-top,
naked; no, she leaves a message
on her daughter’s answer-phone
saying: there’s an echo,
an echo in my head.
About this poem
Orcadian poet Olive M. Ritch has been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies including Agenda, Causeway / Cabhsair, The Hippocrates Prize 2011, The Poetry Cure and Don’t Bring Me No Rocking Chair. She received a commendation in the National Poetry Competition 2003 and won the Calder Prize for Poetry at the University of Aberdeen in 2006.
This poem is one of the editors’ highlighted selection of poems from an open call for readers’ proposals from the second edition of Tools of the Trade: Poems for new doctors.