You there swan-like, blonde, bowed
at the neck knelt
drawing in charcoal on the dusty garage floor
with great swathes of the arm
I, toddler, fingered the pebbles
in the exposed aggregate, enchanted, imagining
the stones, silken under thumb
to be precious jewels

I wonder
if even then your poor blue bruised heart
bubbled with strange gypsy superstitions –
featherstepped, forever a dancer,
eyes lit, alive, twinkling –
jewel-like themselves.

Quarter of a century later
disgruntled nurses inform you
the steroids are eating away your bones
and their appetite is insatiable.

It must be dense as diamond,
your resilience,
when packed into a such a small frame –
eyes lit, alive, twinkling –
burning against the darkness
like a campfire in a valley spotted
at the end of a tiresome journey,
signifying home.