Mum saw snowflakes fall in the ward
the night before she died. Snowflakes,
she said, or they might be sparkles
falling like snowflakes. Can you
see them over there? she asked,
it’s not right. You’ve got to tell them.
Tell them about your father. How
he shouts at me. They think he’s
a hero. He won’t come when I call.
He says I’m a nuisance. Help me.
I thought of how he’d whistle for her
when he wanted food or drink.
How trapped she’d felt. How
carefully he’d loved her
the time that she broke down.
Can you see the snowflakes? she asked,
so I fiddled with the oxygen tubes
and tried to find an answer
and she stared at the snowflakes
that sparkled in the hospital night.
Sharon retired in 2015 after a career in education and started to write poems and stories again, after a break of forty years. She lives in Dorset with her husband, two dogs and two cats and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing. Her poems have been published in Three Drops from a Cauldron and Snakeskin.