Still Life

Donal Mahoney

“On the window sill
the sun’s pure gold today.
Usually it’s white,”
says drooling Nell,
in her hospital smock,

her tea turning cold
as she braids
ram horns of hair
high and tight

to the sides of her skull.
“On gold days
like this, I warm
my hands for hours
on this sill.

“Yesterday, the doctor said
someone should paint me,
the fool. A still life,
that’s what he said.”

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