Cream cheeks; thin, delicate thighs;
pinched-at-you-looking eyes;
Whinging, and writhing now and then,
with a hot water bottle under the quilt.
Then ‘Kitty rub my back’.

This is the silkiest time.
Sitting on the pillow, my palm rubbing her back,
pressing her better.

I rub fast, hard, as she tenses
from the pain and the wincing shoots through to her shins.

It eases.

And quietens

as both of us: you lying, I sitting,
breathing, in thought, in time,
wait at home under the sky-light,
still as the clouds that pass by.