My heels click on the newly polished floor

The hall elongates as I walk forward

Just left Mrs. Pulaski's room

Her quiet eyes touched  the back of my head

She said I looked tired

Needed more rest


I had just held her fingers

Frail, gnarled, her skin a pearly sheen

They were like ornaments, now

Like collectibles in an antique store


But I had met her robust grown  sons the other day

She must have grabbed them by their collars when they fought

Pulled clothes off the line with a flick of her wrist

Rolled cabbage leaves with chopped meat


But she asked how I was feeling again

And we exchanged weak smiles across that touch

As I gently pulled away, she squeezed, then let go

I did not turn back

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