by Mari Phillips
a gin and tonic
She wore a pink dressing gown encrusted with sour porridge and ketchup. Lonely cups of half-drunk tea in lonely rooms.
I need a new dressing gown and always drink my tea.
70s wallpaper peeling off walls. Mould spreading like inkblots. Harsh words in flaking plaster.
Must chase the builder.
Empty bottles lurk behind the supermarket baked beans and out-of-date anchovies.
I’m a vegetarian.
A nibbled bar of chocolate in the detritus of her handbag, teasing the dog.
‘Frilly’ egg and chips, streaks of greasy murder on a plate, slumped in front of Countdown, on repeat, except on Fridays.
I prefer Pointless to Countdown.
A shrunken shadow. Lips taut, with a smear of lipstick, hiding shards of pain. Gimlet-eyed in charge of a tartan shopping trolley. Needs L plates. The siren call of a gin and tonic and a stale pub snack.
Must visit the hygienist and update my online order.
A life lost somewhere in the swamp between sanity and the jam sandwiches of dementia.
Where am I?
Am I my mother?