Biographical Poetry posted April 14, 2019

This work has reached the exceptional level
The inspiring people Iâ??ve cared for

A Special Place

by Hayley Zemontas

Traces of faces flick past my eyes.
A cast of characters, all of them mine.
Welded and wound around the valves of my heart;
angels on earth, like pieces of art.

The learning disabled; some mentally ill.
The troubled, inspiring and stubborn of will.
Those born unable to speak any word,
given a place to make themselves heard.

The physically wounded, the anxious and scared.
Some wheelchair bound with movement impaired.
The highly autistic, their heads filled with noise;
imprisoned for years without any choice.

Misfits bullied, abandoned, abused.
The misunderstood and wrongly accused.
The deaf and blind, yet none of them dumb-
consistently misjudged by some.

Those stolen by dementia's curse-
victims of nature at its worst.
Downs oval eyes and button nose
for those with added chromosomes.

People with the prettiest eyes;
individual globes of light.
Conceived unique but never flawed,
diamonds natural and raw.
Souls I've cared for and adored.

Scattered hearts in disarray.
Smiles that brighten up my day.
A purpose poured to fill a space.
To me, an extra special place.

Poem of the Month contest entry

For those of you who dont already know, I care for adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health needs and have done since the age of 19. As a sufferer of mental health problems myself, I feel a huge affinity with the people I have met over the years and my first job in care was particularly special because it truly saved my life and gave me a purpose. It helped me to see who I was and what I wanted to do in life, which was to connect with people who are so often estranged, misunderstood and misjudged by society and I made some friendships and connections that will remain for life. I connected strongly with a lady who suffered a brain haemorrhage at a young age which left her severely disabled, unable to speak or care for herself. However she has the biggest personality and we clicked straight away. I no longer work with her now but I couldnâ??t say goodbye to her, our friendship is so special so I still maintain contact and take her out whenever I can. We have been friends for 8 years now.

Ive cared for people with learning disabilities, autism, Down syndrome, PDA, schizophrenia, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, dementia and more but these things, they are just labels and conditions. They are part of a person but they are not what makes the whole person. What truly matters is that they are people just like you and I and they inspire me every day. I am so grateful to be able to do what I do and wouldnâ??t change it for all the money in the world.

Image is a painting by Helgon Ravensheed called caring hands.
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© Copyright 2019. Hayley Zemontas All rights reserved.
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