Small things matter now: the kiss, the smile,
the stroking of her face, the fat tear
falling as I eat my failure
to save or salve or halt the clock.
I am the parent now and she the child,
escaping to places where she is held
by the harsh enchantments of the past.
We sit in silence, there are no more words.
We are tumbled statues, our heads leant together
by some upheaval deep within the earth.
Inches from mine her eyelids flutter open,
the red-raw tear ducts like wounds
in the parchment skin. I whisper a welcome
and her dull eyes fill with present pain.
My mother, returning from another world.