My mother in hospital wearing flannelette pyjamas
white knee-high compression stockings like an aged schoolgirl
blue eyes seeping into her white hair and arctic sheets.
She asks for more pyjamas not gaudy red ones.
Country and western music leaks across the corridor
my mother worries she hears things inside her head.
She tries to walk leaning against the physiotherapist
her knees buckle and her feet cross over each other as if they’re confused.
One morning just before lunch butterflies flutter inside the ward
first just one yellow another orange then clouds lime crimson fuchsia
wings of sun and firelight we watch in silence
until my mother asks, Are they for me?