Paper Crane

“for every ailing body, one thousand paper cranes must be folded” Mariko Nogai

I hold out your arms like flightless wings,
supporting you to the bath’s rim,
settle you gently in.

One hand on the saw-teeth of your spine
I sponge your body down,
my touch as light as bird in snow.

You displace so little water now,
your body light as autumn leaf
or paper crane.

Before the summer’s done, I know,
you’ll vanish like a faint white bird,
float up in the clouds.


Gill McEvoy