On the ward

On the ward

On the ward

She looks tiny. Very young

as she lay covered in the rough cotton sheet

one thin arm visible

a chin

the sole of a foot

motionless, sleeping

under the window

through which the soft, warm breeze is blowing.

A woman comes

brings her food and wakes her.

She is tiny. But not young.

Drenched in urine

the pale blue gown is soaked through.

The woman who has come helps her up

and she follows

slowly, obediently

out of the ward.

As she passes she glances at me

an old face, careworn

full of emotional pain

all defiance gone

all defences down.

She glances at me but only for a second

before she lowers her eyes.

Urine runs down her legs.

She looks tiny.

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