The Human Genre Project


After we said goodbye to Dad,
my mother seemed to shrink again.
It seemed, another inch at least had been
whittled from her pared down frame.
Of the sixty-three inches she boasted
once now fifty-eight remain.

My mother is being ground to dust
and the misery of it is plain:
her neck is locked; her back is hunched;
her joints are racked by pain.
As, notch by notch, her spine gives way,
her courage takes the strain.
Once she seemed to scrape the sky
but just fifty-eight inches remain.

My mother worries that I will shrink too.
She believes that she is to blame.
I reassure her, calm her fears:
we are similar, never the same.
Of the sixty-three inches I started with
all but half an inch remain.

Abi Wyatt