Professor Jackie Kay CBE, University Chancellor and Scots Makar, is sharing a series of poems with colleagues, students and members of the public, reflecting on the current period of uncertainty that we are in.
Jackie’s second poem ‘Clap the Carers’ is about saying thanks and showing our appreciation for those who are working tirelessly on the frontline during this pandemic to care for others.
CLAP THE CARERS
I want to say thank you to Janet
for keeping up my mum’s spirit
And thank you to Margaret Anne
Who always does the best she can
Who sorts out the medicine
Trolley meticulously and
Thank you, Marie,
Who last Sunday on Mother’s Day
Had a lone piper into play
And all the women and the men
Were wheeled out or walked into the garden
For ten minutes of fresh air while the Piper played
And When this Battle is Over
And thank you to Cherry for
Making my mum part of her family
And looking after her like she would her own mother
And thank you to Richard, who back that day, aeons away,
On March the 10th put the Home into lockdown
The first in the country –
Which at the time was outrageous to me
But now completely right retrospectively,
Ahead of the curve, and on the ball
And thank you to Clare, team manager of all
For her kind and calm demeanour
And to Monique with her shock of blonde hair
Who always makes my mum laugh
With a merry quip or a teasing joke
And thank you to kind-faced Reuben
Who cleans my mum’s room and puts a wee nip in her coffee
And to good-natured big John who checks regularly to see she’s OK,
And to everybody
Every single Carer in a Nursing Home, Care Home, or in someone’s home
Up and down the breadth of the country
Across the land and out to sea
To France and Spain and Italy
For treating all our mums and dads
Our daughters and sons, our brothers and sisters,
So kindly; for knocking your pan in
Gieing it laldy, going above and beyond.
I want to say merci beaucoup, gracias, grazie
You’re one in a million.
On the Sunday after Mother’s Day, I want to say
Tapadh leibh, thank ye, thank ye,
And in Sign, I do believe, it is like blowing a kiss, like this, like this.
Copyright Jackie Kay. Reprinted with kind permission of the author.