November 2023

Not all that I am

Marie Sørensen’s entry ‘Not all that I am’ was awarded third prize in The Good Oil 2023 Writers’ Award, which aims to support and encourage the development of both emerging and published writers.

Not all that I am

I know I am a shell,
Just a bare casing of who I was.
I can’t think straight any more,
My memory seems so distant.
Hanging on to the happy times,

The experiences that gave me laughter.
Family and dear friends.
So much happiness – all behind the mist.

I’m looking at her face,
I just don’t know her.
But I feel good when she enters the room
I hear little ones laughing,
The patter of little feet running.
The sounds give me joy, but I don’t know the children.

I used to love reading, but now the letters are all jumbled.
The joy of imagination is still there though.
I walked every day to the shops.
I rode my bike along the beach path,
Wind blowing through my hair.
Salty air tingling my nostrils.
Warmth of the summer sun, hot on my skin.
Now I am always cold, in air-conditioned rooms.
The four walls enclose me,
I look out of the huge window,
Longing to feel the heat, the wind, the rain – anything.

I cannot speak anymore.
I have no voice.
I know I have much to say.
No one listens.
Where are my pearls?
Where is my lipstick?
Where are my red shoes?
Where is my love?
My one and only.
Where is my life?
Snatched away; in the instant I heard the words
“You have dementia.”


Marie Sorensen

Marie Sørensen is a Melbourne-based writer, married with four adult children. She is the author of a book published with Shawline about walking a Camino pilgrimage through Spain. Marie has a Master’s degree in Liturgical Music and is a trained Music Therapist. Her writing passion is about life experience.

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