flowers in a vase. she sits, lost in their purple~yellow petals.
her eyes sparkle, fireworks of wonder dancing in irises.
her mouth opens and closes around the spoon, some food spilling down her chin to the bib around her neck. the spatter reaches further assuring she will need a bath or a change of shirt.
most likely a bath, as the body makes room for more, relieving pent up pressure. the room fills with sweet fecal odor, harsh to the senses.
her eyes only have vacancy for the flowers. is it beauty that attracts? is it life?
i talk to her as the spoon moves mechanically from plate to lip in my fingers, relating to her family stories, as if she might understand and one day remember. she makes a noise, hard, gutteral.
i pretend she is asking questions, more for myself than her.
plate empty, i watch her as she watches the flowers. not for the first time, a prayer escapes on sucessive breathes.
take her. take her. take her.
it is selfish, i know, this hope for a better end.
my eyes are dry creek beds and i no longer pray for rain in these short days.
my hand finds hers. tracing the parchment skin on the back with my thumb. she once held me, now her loose fingers lay across my palm, unwilling or unable to close.
the shrill squeak of the medication cart wheels marks its progress down the hall behind us.
flowers in a vase. we sit, losing ourselves in their purple~yellow petals.
written for The Tenth Daughter or Memory.