‘You what?’ she said, not understanding,
and I turned on the TV and repeated
what I had said, though not worth repeating.
She felt for the chair, ungainly, and lowered
her weight and laughed at the effort it took
and I gave her some tea and her ration
of sweets for the evening. Slowly she drank,
and gave me the smallest of smiles.
I slipped from the room to escape from
her age and was ready to leap down the
stairs when a photograph stopped me:
a woman of thirty or so looking out
from the landing, a mandorla-faced beauty
who gave me the smallest of smiles.
Return to all poems