Memory Poems – Free Event in the Reading Room at The Wellcome Collection

Thursday 16th June at 15.00

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
020 7611 7251

A reading from The Memory Poems – stories gifted in conversation with people living with Early Stage Alzheimer’s and their Carers. Here’s a poem inspired by chat over tea and cake.

The Dahlias

My father’s dahlias surprised the world.

Half red, half yellow, they were his children,

Brought to life by magic fingers

And the Hand of Allah

Or God

Or Krishna.

This is India before Partition.

In the Hill Station garden in Poona

Four brothers and two sisters,

Likewise the children of Khan.

How the time has passed

I’ve no idea.

From tennis and badminton

To foxtrot and tango and waltz.

How I waltzed!

I waltzed at cocktail parties,

Dinner parties,

Private Members’ Clubs,

But my husband did not dance.

He sat and talked as I whirled

In and out of the Vienna Woods,

Knowing that he would give me the moon

If I asked.


Fifty years of marriage,

So many moons!

After Partition

The houses were sold and they put up flats

And the past was another country.

But I remember

My father’s dahlias surprised the world.

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