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Sport 25: Spring 2000

An inept grandmother walks the floor

page 27

An inept grandmother walks the floor

Past midnight and to be discovered as
an imposter: not the mother who usually
comes to reach arms into the cot

but a grandmother in a long white nightdress
who has to stand silently while your eyes
close to blue resentful slits, flicker

then watch again: how long
can that slit last? And will someday
this be the image of a ghost?

On your second wakening I take
the little bottle of goat's milk from the fridge
warm it and carry you to the rocking chair

some ancient grandmother knowledge and you
scorning the bottle plunge against my breast
both a protest and a compliment

and as the light softens imperceptibly
we go on rocking until you accept
sleep again and the guardian by your cot.