After Christmas, you are thin as the wind.
The trees have more colour.
My mother warns me you are birdlike today;
I take back my wish to fly. My car drifts right like a shopping cart.
Your chair rolls, empty,
a few inches down the corridor.
I didn’t know until the third time here
that they move you from room to room
to clean: rolled out of bed as if you have overslept.
Loss is eerily tired, white-walled.
Your voice husky at midday,
gone by 3 p.m. I see you slipping,
folding small. Round
the hollow between waves.
Words and water
tussle in your throat.
Slow, slow, says the straw
at your lips,
you can have one
Eilise Norris works on academic journals and writes in a room above a pub in a small village. Her first published poem was recently included in The Cabinet of Heed.