Thursday, 15 February 2018

Kitty

by Lee Nash


Her “legs,” I’d fetch a packet of Cameo Light, then settle in the wheelchair in the bedroom nearest the bathroom, she being not far from bedridden. Flanked by the large-font books that threatened to tip like bombs from a devil’s egg, bifocals greasy, false teeth soaking in a glass of vinegar, she nursed her cold tea under a miasma of stale urine and smoke, and pined for the Dachshund. Her hair refused to go gray and lay as flat as his unopened letters in a drawer. I imagined one brother hurling the butterfly from the roof and another one dying. I breathed in the jasmine on Cairo streets, rejoiced in her wartime whimsy, her simmering beauty. Thank God the fire did not take her, that we heard that old stick tapping. We doused the flaming bed, soaking her swollen joints, her legs

flailing like wet wings
under the sodden covers –
raised as if in prayer


* * * * *

"Kitty" was first published in Pankhearst's Slim Volume: This Body I Live In (2015) and is included in Lee Nash's collection Ash Keys.


Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Antiphon, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Presence, and The Heron's Nest. Her first poetry collection, Ash Keys, has just been released from Flutter Press. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website: leenashpoetry.com.