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Alive in me – a poem by a care home resident

ALIVE IN ME – By Tudor Evans, Hengoed Park

I can still hear her singing

in her high, clear voice

humming around our house

two streets from the colliery,

riddling the ashes

from the stove in the scullery.

 

I can still feel his strong arms around me,

carrying me to the mine

to lie by the huge fan, 28 feet tall,

the lungs of the pit,

to cure my whooping cough.

My Mother, my father,

They’re alive in me.

 

I see her young,

glossy hair marcel-waved,

in her yellow twin set with the nipped-in waist,

laughing, joy blazing out

like a firework flaring

 

I remember him at my bedside

His big hands placing the candles,

To drive my nightmares away.

Still keeping me safe, they’re alive in me.

Writing ‘Alive in Me.’

Deb Llewellyn, creative writer, told us about how she worked with Tudor to create the poem ‘Alive in me.’

“For the last two years I have worked as a Writer in Residence for Age Cymru, in two care homes in the Swansea Valley. I listen to the residents and work collaboratively with them to form their words into poems – sometimes based on stories and memories, sometimes in response to stimuli such as paintings, photographs and objects.

It was in Hengoed Court, Swansea that I met Tudor Evans, and it was a privilege to write this poem with him. We wrote it over the course of several individual sessions. Tudor shared his memories with me of growing up in the mining town of Grovesend near Pontarddulais. His father was a miner and we spoke at length about his work.

As a young boy, Tudor caught whooping cough and his parents feared for his life. One night Tudor was struggling for breath, and in desperation, his father carried him to the enormous fan which circulated air throughout the pit. He believed that being in this strong air current would allow Tudor to breathe. It worked, and Tudor recovered. The vivid childhood memories that Tudor has of his parents form the core of this poem. Writing it was his act of tribute to them.”

 

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