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Holding on

by Heather Wastie

In her more sentient moments
my mother dislikes herself,
says her silly old brain
is infested with worms

But mostly she operates in straight lines,
like the angry trajectory of my cup,
her move in a fiendish game of table-laying
with indeterminate rules to keep me in check

She will plummet to the floor
to pick up a fleck of fluff,
dart into the road
to pull up a weed

So I steer her to comfort zones,
skirt round the table at meal times,
settle her with a lap tray,
set a mental alarm for bath time,
sidetrack her in the street,
holding on.

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