Rip

stigma Pride

People don’t want to know you when you’re living dead
or living dead’s companion).
They need you around like a hole in the head –
an apposite comparison.

They’re not quite sure if you’re human still
or a sort of pet potato.
So they turn away, with a secret thrill,
to their football (or their Plato).

And they don’t realise through their blinkered eyes
that caring is not unilateral,
that the wounded despair for their loved and dear
and the ruin that’s collateral.

But the people who stumble will not be shamed
by shallow fellow-citizens.
We’re already orphans, widows, slain,
and we don’t need ostracism.

So step aside for Dementia Pride
or stand with us and share it;
for we’re joined in hope and glad to cope,
and all of us – proud of caring.

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