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.