• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 07
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After Mary Cassatt and Ted Hughes

He still stands listening useless his wife washing their daughter at bed-time –

their girl glistening.
She watches too, watches immersed toes.
The room’s patterned, all remember – clearer
than years they’ve since woven together.

Now they note the lip of the jug there, stood to attention while that hand holds that towel –
and still likeness looms, down the decades,
likenesses in dark looks.

“Ma!” she cries happily, “Ma! Ma!”

They watch the veered bowl as if watching heaven electing to bless

the flowers after all.