And what remains of love is this;
a pack of jelly babes.
“Give these to your mum,” he says,
and turns away to hide
Fifty four sweets are in that bag;
one for each year of coloured days.
This one tastes of ’65,
that one of ’92 –
“She still likes these, sometimes,” he says,
and now that’s all that’s left.
She takes one more, unsmiling,
and heads towards the door,
of who she is or who we are,
or why these little coloured men
still seem to mean so much to us
and taste so warm and soft,
defining something once well known
she feels is lost or yet to come,
but will not find her now.
There must be something else
Across the room the curtains close,
and like the fading of the day,
a single jelly baby lies
in wait; his furious final wail
Jelly babies are traditional English sweets. People with dementia seem to like sweets.