Pain permeates her dreams,
Seeps into this anaemic morning.
Sucking breath to unhinge each joint
stuck fast through the cramp of night.
The bathroom is an agony away,
Tender feet must scrape each step while
Wincing fingers trace the rails along
her jagged journey.
Tap turners levered by cankered wrists
bring the gush and plunge of warm water,
A pure moment of relief.

Her baby wakes in a scream of urgency
unanswered by her stumbling mother
who struggles to dress herself,
To start another day.
Soon her child will grow to patience,
Learn wisdom beyond her years,
Wait, while snaps and buttons
are fastened with fragile hands
And desperate cuddles given,
cringed with wrinkling pain.

  • by Jacqueline Woods

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