Clare Shaw, Poet in Residence for the BASPCAN 2018 Congress considers the impact of neglect on the developing brain in her latest poem.

You can read all of Clare’s poems here




The Impact of Neglect on the Developing Brain 




you can’t find your mother. 


A series of rooms  

one after another  


each smelling of urine  

and dust.  


And of course   

there are ghosts –  


you fear them like murder.  

By night, there are spiders and mice.  


Then sleep is a space  

with no air.   


It’s too hot.  

All of your words have been sucked out.  


The books on the shelves  

are rotten. You read them.  


You almost forgot that door 

and the corridor leads to outside.  


In the yard,  

how small you are  


in this rain  

you will never own.  


It’s all falling around your ears.  

The rabbits are still in their hutches 


and no-one has fed them 

for years.