The Meeting

In July this year I wrote my first poem for at least 38 years, if not longer.  The solicitor representing us at Nico’s inquest was ringing me that morning to discuss the forthcoming Pre-Inquest Review meeting and I waited nervously for the call.

The call never came because she had been called into court about another case unexpectedly, so for several hours that morning I found myself sitting in front of the computer trying to write something for the blog so I felt I was filling my time usefully.

I couldn’t get started so I decided to start writing see what happened. To my great surprise this poem was what happened! What was even more surprising (amazing) to me at the time was that other people seemed to enjoy reading it. This is the second version I’ve published on the blog as I felt the first version needed “tidying up”. So I’ve deleted the original and here’s the new one.

I’d like to dedicate this poem to every parent who has ever sat in a meeting with Social Services, the Local Authority or any other official body who listened to them without hearing them and then gave them the answers they had planned to give long before anyone had entered the room. We know we’re a nuisance to these people because they make it very obvious that we are, but next time you’re in a meeting like this and you even consider for a moment not making a fuss about something that’s worrying you – remember us, remember Nico and remember what can happen if you start to believe for a moment that the professionals who surround your life might know better than you do.


The Meeting

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

They bought fat files and letters

Familiar and new faces mixed

All definitely our betters


They patronised us kindly

When we asked them to explain

Spoke in acronyms and jargon

To show there was no blame


They happily agreed upon

Dates for our next meetings too

And wanted us to be there

“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


And they hardly noticed

Our teary indecision

But in reaching for the tissues

We spoke of our decision


So they patted us with parting words,

Some dashed off to the loo

Some stayed to tell us in strong terms

Oh Mrs Reed why do you worry as you do?


Nico Reed (13.4.1989 – 22.8.2012)






4 thoughts on “The Meeting

  1. Thank you for capturing the exact feeling in those damn meetings. I had a review psychiatrist opposite me falling asleep (whilst I tried through tears to talk of the avoidable death of my son!!)
    Your final line says it all……….why don’t they every worry (because nobody holds them to account perhaps!!)
    I want investigation teams to have more personal integrity than paper!!

    • Thank you for your comment which is sadly so very true. We’ve all been in those meetings where we simply cannot seem to break through the wall that divides us from the “professionals”, or make them feel and see what we do.

    • Don’t we all wish it wasn’t though – and time and again I find myself wondering why these so called professionals are able to so easily distance themselves from us, our children (or indeed sometimes, our parents) and our desperate situation.

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