Two thursdays

when the doctor came on a monday
He looked at my mother and said
There’s something seriously wrong here –
She’s had a stroke – she’s almost dead

It must have happened on thursday
Why wasn’t i told before
The busy rest home shook its head
We thought she was drowsy – nothing more

She only came to us a week ago
She was angry and violent and bitter
We drugged her some and settled her down
Then she started to joke and chatter

It was thursday when her husband came
With a daughter and a son
We’ve given her a nice warm bath we said
She’s in her room with the tv on

We were busy and went up later
We were given such a long deep stare
The husband and the daughter were crying
The son – he was just standing there

The old man was showing his birthday cards
He was wanting her to recognise
Her eyes were lost inside themselves
If deep pits can be said to be eyes

Then the old lady began to mumble
Like stones dredged up from a well
She was really a long long way away
But a stroke – how were we to tell

It was only yesterday we became alarmed
She seemed eaten away in her sleep –
It’s too late now the doctor said
She’s leapt where i cannot leap

My mother died the next thursday
As the new moon was borne above
Her stroke had lodged a twig in her mouth
And her face was the face of a dove

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Two thursdays