the healing muse

Volume 5, 2005

Combing

Catherine V. Caldicott

Concerned for your image
You asked for a comb.
As it eluded your reach
I took the old pink plastic

And fanned out gleaming silver threads
Against the hospital pillowcase
The last time I combed your hair
You opened your eyes

Rare as alexandrite
Or sparkling Stella Maris
Under platinum waves
You held court

Our sweetly smiling Amphitrite
Framed by your silken sea spray
The last time I combed your hair
Before I dressed you reverently in black

Before your daughter's daughter
Pushed you in a matriarch's argent chariot
Queenly under glistening crown
Rendered pale by your dignity.

The last time I combed your hair
You told us it was late
You said time was of the essence.

Mirrored in your aqueous
My bewildered sisters and I
Laughed nervously
But how were we to know

That while silvery silk still clung to pink teeth
Your sands ran through our fingers
Your tresses a low tide against a cotton beach
The last time I combed your hair?

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 5, 2005.

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