by Paula Jennings
Every day more words elude her.
They march ahead like giants
with far-off piccolo voices.
Sometimes she can barely catch up.
you…have the pleasure…
to go out…’
She wants to go out.
I explain about safety, about seizures,
about not being a nurse, not being allowed.
She picks up a teddy bear, shakes it.
‘You are not…going out.
You are… staying here.
Who are you?’
She laughs bitterly, stands it on its head.
I list the advantages
of this benevolent detention:
art classes in the morning,
the fiddle player from Edinburgh.
‘Is it enough to keep you going?’ I ask
Her veined hand gestures the length of the outside world,
which measures the same as the conservatory windows.