A Farewell

I am on the wall

in hand-painted tones.

My sister, too.

We look young,

hair patted in to place.

Mother’s work,

a dab and a lick.

They hang in the hall

beside mum’s room.

I saw her there

pale and worn.

I love you, I said.

Love you, too.

A mottled hand

raised in farewell.

I see her now,

hair in a silver splay,

a white crocheted cover

drawn to her chin;

she is everywhere:

the bone handles,

the doilies,

the sense of calm.

Even, if I look,

in my young eyes

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