Dabbing my fevered body in alcohol, she hummed an old Irish song, its hunger—
Several times the song petered away, the hand holding the sponge hesitated
trickling onto my belly as she squinted at the hallway, cursed those Brits.
Did Mary spank Jesus? Why did God let soldiers shoot
No answers, just frowns down at me, poking lumps on her knee, crooked
never set. I should bathe that sore knee now. Feet and legs too.
Not ointment that gags me. Not beer bread so fresh, steam fills
the price she no longer argues against. Maybe I could yank her back with receipts
staring at, or beyond, wisterias tangling outside the window. Rosary beads dropped
to return to crawling. Perhaps along the soldiered fields she left decades ago,
used to pay her to read the future. That night she broke my fever with what she called
the Tarot and taught me such foresight. She asks me now to tell her fortune, speak
and rolling down the floor; petals, vines twisting. Really I see nothing more