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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017

Claire Everett
Northallerton, England, U.K.


arc to Arcturus …
the scent of pollen
on a bee’s feet

Her husband was a professor of astronomy, while she spent many years in uniform, first in the army, then as a chauffeur for dignitaries and diplomats in Brussels.

That was yesterday. Today, she knows her cushions by name and they’re squabbling. It could be they are the children she never had, or half-remembered siblings.

“Here!” she chastises, “What have I told you? Get down!” There’s one climbing in through the window.

“Come on,” I say, “You know there’s a rule, no shoes on the couch.” Easier to play along than tell her it’s only the shadow from the streetlamp.

Four different carers already this week, but she knows me by my cold hands—and therefore my requisite “warm heart.” She also knows I started my shift at two and I finish at ten and it’s cooler today … at least for a moment or two, when she’ll ask me all over again.

She tells me she doesn’t want to get out of the bath just yet. (That will be the blue quilt.) I bring soap and water, a flannel and a warm towel. “Summertime” comes on the radio. I turn the volume up and we sing along.

Once she’s dressed and had her medication she wants to go down to the bistro in her wheelchair.

“I’ll not use my frame,” she says. That’s on account of the swirls on the carpet being those blimmin' snakes come back.

“What time do you finish?”

atrophied moon
through her eyes
a world I can’t unsee



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