She was in a hospital bed calm and still,
propped up, thin bones against fat pillows
hair brushed sleek, like Lauren Bacall.
One eye, the right one, clamped shut.
I was thirteen. I kissed her goodbye
those versions of us, finished.
And now, some thirty-odd years later my eye,
my right eye, by rights,
is clamping itself the same way,
firmly shut, as if to say Business hours strictly over.
And I can tell you now, that shut
is a lot better than skewed, prism, doubled
or idly wandering
(my only other options).
Sometimes you glimpse your worst possibility,
then it simply tiptoes along
like a restless child in the night,
climbing into your bed to sleep on your back,
and when it does, you’re calm, because
what else can you do?
About the author:
Marie-Louise received her MFA from MMU in 2020 after a brain tumour diagnosis in 2018. She was a winner in the Poetry News' "Lesser Loss" competition and her poems can be found in Stand, Agenda, Acumen, Portland Review, Poetry Magazine and the competition anthologies for the Bridport, Bedford, Live Canon and Ginkgo
Discussing disabled characters in fairy tales and folklore!