We¹d planned the day
the new museum
her heart¹s desire
yet when we made it through the line
I could see her
sag into herself
her rounded shoulders
trying to hold their own
but her eyes giving in
so when she eyed the wheelchairs
and she acquiesced.
How long should I stand
before this painting?
Is it the Aztec room or photography next?
Was the vase as interesting
if one was sitting?
I¹d ask but she demurred.
Perhaps getting close to her face
so she could read my lips
became more an interruption.
Suddenly all this was in my hands.
When we¹d tired
we left by way of the gift shop‹
her traditional post card for her
While she looked I window shopped
picked up a rattle
monkey pods tied and woven to a stick
I shook it near my ear
the soft shush of the pods swishing
a tiny clack when they hit each other
like a Tui bird in a banyan tree.
She was ready and we left.
Later when I said goodnight
she took my face in her hands
I want you to have that rattle.
I can¹t hear it but I saw you listen.