A bumpy ride on a hospital transport
for a daughter, carer and bodyguard.
The laughter and a solid grip on her arm.
Opposite us. Colour-coordinated
from her anorak to her shoes.
Am I her? Is she me? Maybe.
Telling. She did this and this
and I do this and this but
she also did that and that and
that fat voice in this small space
shakes the bus, finding the faults.
The seats squeak. Fingers stretching
beyond my palms. Over the edge,
I’m a mess waiting to be cleaned up.
I chew on one single rock, it’s
like a fat knife in my small mouth.
Pride – my uniform of bright buttons –
is buried nearby. The rock tastes of
watery grey. A life liquefied.
The bus and that voice rumble to a stop.
I’m not her and she’s not me.
I wipe a shine back onto my buttons,
hold an arm and I’m almost me again
and only you will know.
If you have any
thoughts on this poem, Susan
Wilson would be pleased to hear them.