Amelia Hill

Alan Hill

The dead get more demanding as I age.
Yes, the living are tricky, the dead however
downright devious.

It’s just that they need us more than we need them.

Last Sunday morning
I found my grandmother, who died in 1980
behind the cherry tree at the end of the driveway.

Still in the full blossom of her dementia.
Still with her polished mahogany breath
the regimental cutlery of her being
presented formally against the bare sheeting
of her Edwardian black

She surprised me by the recycling bin
buried my head into her Hell dried hair.
She wanted me to smell her, nothing else.
To know a little more of maps, blueprints
of the genetic ropes and ladders
the pulsing bloody empires
that bind my daughter’s scent to hers.

Later, I escorted her back to the demolished hospital.
I needed those long gone nurses to know
that it was I that bought her home.