Once Ma’s pockets were stuffed with
Bull’s Eye sweets, Milky Mints,
now she’s fed through a tube.
Her lips crack,
she coughs spittle
into a speckled handkerchief.
Small behind her glasses,
she shrinks away a little at a time -
like the Cheshire Cat.
Her hands once bigger than mine
took me to England,
to see my other mother.
The room is a fallen shrine
to a fading deity.
We gather round her like a fire.
She no longer sings, drinks unending cups of tea,
searches for folded money
in the creases of her clothes.
There’s no light left in her eyes,
empty as a window pane, there’s nothing,
not even this poor excuse for a view.
If you have any comments on this poem, Terry Maher would be
pleased to hear from you.