“Divining” by Kate Rhodes.

My mother’s been crying all day.
Naked on the settee, unthinkably small
her face and throat are cloaked in wrinkles.
She can’t be consoled.

I have to find the source of her tears.
Is it in her wardrobe?
Some expensive item
that failed to make her new?

In the study, I’m getting warmer.
Her father’s bureau perhaps?
Dark, coffin wood
too heavy ever to leave the house.

Maybe it’s the trinkets
ganging up on the mantelpiece?
Dresden cows grazing on dust,
the silver lion menacing her.

In the bathroom I discover it at last,
a steady trickle – the tub’s almost full.
Who will sing to her,
blow bubbles, pretend to splash?

The only child but not a child,
I guide her to the water
cradle her,
lift her in.

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