The Meeting

I wrote the initial draft of this poem last year and was amazed by the positive response it received.  I’ve since re-written the poem in parts and this is the latest version. There must be a lot of people who there who have had the experience of attending yet another meeting at which they’re not listened to, their opinions are somehow no longer those of an expert in the life of the person you’re discussing, but only those of a “parent”.  The sadness, the rage and the feeling of being rendered impotent as the giant steam roller of social services / local authority runs over you is something you never forget and I have tried to capture something of that here.

The Meeting

And so we had a meeting

A meeting about the meeting

We’d had about the meeting

Several months before


They all came to the meeting

With their fat files and letters

Some old faces, so familiar

But definitely our betters


They patronised us kindly

When we asked them to explain

Spoke in acronyms and jargon

Assured us they were not to blame


Glad to be done they set a date

Stressed they hoped we’d be there too

For the next time we could meet

“To hear the parent’s point of view”


They left the table catching up

And chatting with each other

Of other meetings, another case

Another problem mother


In haste they’d hardly noticed

Our teary indecision

So were shocked and irritated

When we gave them our decision


So they patted us with parting words,

Some dashed off to the loo

Some stayed to tell us in stronger terms

Oh Mrs Reed why worry as you do?


2 thoughts on “The Meeting

  1. Oh those meetings I know them so well. I usually take a bag with me to be sick in because of the nauseating ” fake smiles” and/or handshakes that you know you will have to endure.!!!!

    • Thanks Deb. I don’t know what I hated more, the phoney smiles of welcome and the handshake or their total disregard for Nico’s welfare, happiness and wellbeing. As many of these people are going to now be contacted as part of the Independent Investigation into his death, I’m going to be so interested to hear how they’ll justify what they did to him in light of how it ended.

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