When they took Mum to hospital
her face was yellow, belly swollen
tight as a bloody drum, dad said
on the phone. It was mid-April
and I watched the laburnum’s
grey-green leaves being ruffled
by the wind. Just for a few tests,
he said. I sat on the sofa, dopey
with tramadol; the last daffodils
had shrivelled brown; blackbirds
fussed around ivy so overgrown
the fence tilted under its weight.
Don’t go worrying. Women wearing
white salwar kamiz carried bowls
of curry and rice from house to house.
He said she knows you can’t come.
Sharon retired from her career in education in 2015 and started learning to write poems. Her work has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in The High Window, Amaryllis, Three Drops from a Cauldron and Words for the Wild