Push an ochre cushion
behind her white neck’s nape.
Catch her starfish hands
flung out in automatic startle.
Fold her fair gold head
close to the wheelchair tray.
Careful to avoid paper, pots of paint.
Press lined hands on shoulders
overalled in plastic, red.
Don’t let her sideways slop.
behind the chair.
Slide right hand along her arm
and bend soft
And sing as you work:
dip, and touch, and smooth, and skim
splodge, and splat, and sweep, and spin
circle, spot, triangle, square,
azureblue eyes, glintgleam hair
smilewide cheeks, tipthrust tongue
smallshine teeth – your picture’s done.
Puppywolf: ‘The Best of Manchester Poets’ Volune 3 published 2013