His eyes, blank as buttons, fix randomly
on her breasts wrapped tight in white plastic.
There are no formal introductions
as she pokes her spoon into his mouth.
He gags, splutters, splattering her pinny
with glottal and surd.
His words are jammed, trapped in the past,
his whole lexicon shot to pieces
the day his aneurysm popped.
Hello! Is there anyone at home?
Images, brittle as old film, jump and flicker
inside his nobbled brain. For a moment
he is sitting by the kitchen table,
his mother’s fingers dancing in flour,
her apple-bright face warm as an oven.
He reaches out … but she has gone,
dissolved in a cluster of dud impulses
that fizzle in his frontal lobe.
Sleep will come soon,
then muster in the day room.
The organ player’s coming this afternoon.