My mother is immortal in the way she holds her cup of tea;
in lamplight, before the sunrise, with her eyes shut.
Her hands could be housing a baby bird, and through years
of love, my father has learned not to fill the mug
all the way to the top. He allows for a strip of ceramic
where she can rub her thumbs, as though moulding
the clay between her fingers.
At six, I would have run forwards into her warmth
but there’s something freezing me inside this moment now.
Limbo before the creaking hallway floorboard rouses her,
I hold my breath to keep us there a little longer.