He knocks on the door
I let him in
Six foot four with ebony skin
A warrior face chiselled fine
Splitting into a smile
Of perfect white teeth beaming
Warmth through the house.
The old man in the chair
Smiles too, quizzically
Not sure who this might be
This alien figure with kind eyes
Who stands proud, straight and strong:
Yet the African stranger doubles over the chair
In big gentle hands
Takes the skeletal fingers
And in deep timbered tones
“Let’s make you comfortable”
He says.

By Jean Atkinson

About this poem:

A tribute to all carers, those in care homes or those caring for people in their own homes. This is about a carer who had a powerful connection with her husband that transcended language and culture. The short-hand for this connection is the word ‘love’, a word that is usually avoided in the
world of care due to the fear of breaking professional boundaries and protocols. Husband, wife and care, all three of them developed a special relationship that overcame prejudice and the fear of difference, and tapped into humanity at its best. Carers, men and women, work all over the UK and do the same amazing job simply because they love their fellow-person. Their qualities are rarely celebrated for what they bring to those they care

A. Stevenson