Today I acclaim the hands
of the man sanding and polishing
the oak for my mother’s coffin.
It will be needed in a month or so
if the doctors have it right.
And the hands of the woman
in the hospice kitchen
who prepares the morning porridge,
the only morsel my mother
is still able to enjoy.
I acclaim the hands of the gardener
who planted the daffodil bulbs,
their green shoots just breaking clay
in thin February sunlight
outside her ground-floor window.
Yesterday it was the voice
of the lady at reception
who puts me through
to my sister in London
with the daily report.
And later in the car crossing town
the drone of the weatherman
drawing me back to a sixties kitchen,
my father listening to the weather report,
my mother, young again,
bustling in her element
and their child imagining
thousands of silver millibars,
soft and possibly edible,
tiny cosmic gifts
falling from out of the skies
over far-flung sea areas
from Hook Head to Mizen Head
onto the hills and fields about our house
featherlight and falling slowly.