Writing Competition Runner Up – Eloise Emmerson

Both Sides of the Door

By Eloise Emmerson, 2020

I feel a little nervous, as I knock upon your door.
I hope I look familiar, though we’ve never met before.
Who is this person I’m yet to see? Will there be harmony or strife?
I enter into their world now: their room, their home, their life.

Everyone behind the door will receive the greatest care,
That really goes without saying, that’s neither here nor there,
But sometimes, oh just sometimes, a connection I will find,
I’ll remember these people always , they’re never too far from my mind.

I’ve collected many memories, these stories I’d like to share,
Treasured moments of these people who were once in my care.
So let me introduce you, to some I’ve met along the way,
It started with a first knock, ‘I’m the night carer’ I would say.

I’d sat upon your floor so much; I think I made a dent,
You’d always ask if I’d be told off, but no rules I had bent.
I’d explain again I was here for you, and on your floor I’d sit,
We’d talk some more, if it helped, for just a little bit.

For 5 years straight you asked my name, and had we met before?
Same conversation every night; though it never felt a chore.
You said although you didn’t recognise me, you felt you knew me well,
You said you just felt safe with me, and that made my whole heart swell.

You never really took to me; I can’t give a reason why,
You always were well cared for, but I just seemed to make you sigh.
I used to be upset by this; I promise you I tried,
I had to learn to take it without damaging my pride.

You said you didn’t like it here, nights felt they wouldn’t end,
You said you couldn’t sleep at all, and all you needed was a friend.
In the end you said it felt like home and no one ever knew,
Quite often we had tea and cake, at just gone half past 2!

Your death made me emotional, I can’t quite tell you why,
But when I heard I cried and cried. Not ready to say goodbye.
I felt embarrassed at how sad I felt, that it was wrong somehow.
But its just the way it goes in life, if I’m honest I miss you now.

You didn’t like the look of me; I annoyed you it would seem,
As time past that faded and we became an unlikely team.
It makes me smile when I look back, I think of you often still,
I’ve never met anyone else quite like you; I don’t think I ever will.

You were only here one night with us, but I’ll remember ever more,
It was me who rang your wife you see, just after half past 4.
To her I wasn’t a stranger, someone she’d never met,
I heard her heartbreak down the phone, some things you don’t forget.

You told me of when you were young, and the life that you had led,
Your stories always made me smile, I heard every word you said.
You always spoke with passion, your words would almost sing,
And I believed completely when you said ‘I wouldn’t change a thing!’

Some I was their carer, some they called me friend,
I will always be so honoured, that I was there until the end.
So I shall knock upon the door again, and wait ‘til you say enter,
From that moment, a new journey starts, for us to jointly venture.

And if one day it’s my turn, on the other side of the door,
I hope one day my carer comes and sits upon my floor.
I’ll tell them I used to do the same, when I was the new kid on the block,
So, I understand it’s nerve wracking, the first time that you knock.