I watch you pushing her and you make a lovely pair
until I look closer and see your expression.
I try to decipher it, make conjectures about your pain.
She is so happy, so embarrassingly happy to be with you,
to escape her room and be wheeled past the strass,
wind ruffling her grey feathered head as she smiles at you.
But you are pained by this stroll and I wonder what she did.
Leave your father when you were a little girl? Leave you?
Did she force her dreams on you? Give you no latitude for your own?
Or did you just live as strangers, never sharing the heart's ticking?
Perhaps you are simply torn by your choice, to wheel her chair
back to those tight white walls and leave her there.
I inhale my cigarette deeply and then crush it in the flowerbed,
The bakery's bench a too-short respite from my own walls.
I watch you forcing a smile for her as you pass graffiti,
"LOVE" (or is it LONE?) in jagged letters on the wall.