Bewildered among pillows, tubes and drips,
she grips my hand with every kick of pain.
I ask if she remembers those days in June,
humming with sunshine and hoverflies
in purple loosestrife when she'd meet us
at the mill gate on our way home from school.
She carries a basket, heavy with sadness,
buttered scones, bottles of lemonade,
a crochet hook, balls of unravelled wool.
We run through flaggers to where the river
deepens, leap from low branches,
stub our toes on stones, splash and scream.
She watches from the beech-shaded bank, loops
wool through her fingers, closes her eyes for a while.