She was alone in a room of her own at Royal London Hospital. Ten electrodes were attached to her head, one for each year of her life. “You get a personal poetry workshop. The others have to share me.” I said. She smiled. My own personal poetry workshop. She was all smiles. Together we wrote a poem. She wrote the poem. I sat by her bed and transcribed. It’s like catching butterflies. By the end we were covered in them. They filled the room. Her eyes were wide with wonder.
Throught the workshop she kept craning her neck to look over my shoulder. I hadn’t noticed but behind me in the top left corner of the room was a monitor. It was filled with the pulsating vertical lines that represented each of the electrodes monitoring her brain. “Look mum” she said. “Look Look” Her mum had already seen. It was filled with activity. “It means she’s happy and stimulated. She’s been flat lining” said the mother smiling and dabbing her eyes. My student was watching the activity of her brain as it reacted to the activity of poetry. It was my final workshop for the Royal London Hospital through vital arts and it’s been great.