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Recognising Love

It's true you forgot

about the woman you were

about us, about everything

—but you remembered to smile.


We saw it in the sunken jowls,

the toothless cheeks,

the way your head sank and your back curved,

when you saw but could not see.


It was your tiny frame

curled into a chair, motionless

heavy-lidded and restful.

Remembering was tiring work.


It was almost funny when,

in clans of four at a time,

you would wake for visitors

to find eight tear-blinking eyes


begging you to see us.

We knew you'd forgot

and somehow you knew too.

It was the little smile,


the 'it's okay' beam, shiny and pink,

the 'I know why you're here, not who you are.'

It was the way you let us, strangers,

kiss the top of your head


and I breathed in that smell

that made me think of Mum.

We knew you'd forgot

but you still let us say, 'love you, Grandma.'

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