The Pearl

Deep purple bruises seed the wrinkled hand

a pin cushion to life-sustaining lines,

rasping breaths struggle to wait.

For her daughter told her not to give in,

to hold on until she could hold again,

that sun-touched skin and face fate

together. Faint pulsations weakened by countless memories.

A whisper speaks through crinkled smile, of the first date

with her husband, her heartbeat, gone.

How she began fading, elixir now emptied,

the clock reads 03:08.

She calls me the name of her daughter.

Deep creases grasp at my taught skin,

she touches my heart, late in the evening,

now morning. Now mourning, a cold lifeless limb,

longingly placed, her embrace

as light as my own grandmother’s.

A drop of saline and emotion runs down

as he adjudicates loudly, the end.

The tear is wiped, I let the pearl of wet caring

drop to replace my touch, standing straight. I

leave my first loss alone,

Her hand still stretched in hope

For her daughter.




Image taken in Blair Atholl, Scotland.


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