I watch athletics with my mum

All house mirrors have been removed.

 I sit on her soft bed, rest an arm
 on a spare pillow. Mum’s pillows
 stack behind her as we watch a
 tv placed where her dress mirror stood.

 Once she cried as her hair fell out.
 She cried as she gained each pound weight
 because she takes the chemicals
 to stop her dying, stop the spread.

 Once she was ‘petite’, now Mum’s fat

 jowls, bingo wings slop on the bed.

 Together we watch lithe bodies,
 sharp muscle tone dash for the end.

 Her home is spotless, a show home.
 Every day we polish, scrub,
 vacuum, she wants it welcoming.

 She nods off half way through the
 100 metres, I soft clap
 the winner as she would have done.

 I remember good times, and smile
 at her laughter, gleam in her eyes
 when she sees another winner
 dash over the race finish line.

 Meanwhile, she looks forward to Oakwell,
 a new fan of Barnsley FC.

 I never go as I don’t like
 football, regret my selfishness
 and time not enjoying her life.

 She will sit in her hired wheelchair
 yell and clap at their confidence,
 vitality, their will to win.

 Note: Mum died of cancer in 1997

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