She moved into a smaller flat
near town, less to clean, closer
to work, better surroundings.
For over thirty years she had
earned her living, brought up
her daughter, cared for her grandson.

Now in her fifties her body
is giving up its active life.
Her family’s genes puff up
her asthma, weaken her lungs
with increasing infections.
Her fading heart strains to
walk beyond our letterboxes,
she has to drive her little car
to hospital, doctor, supermarket.

So hard to lose her independence
have the chemist deliver her
prescriptions, neighbours put
our her recycling bin, weed
and prune her little garden.

But her family’s genes fade
out in their fifties.

Another ten years on the
sickness benefit until her
old age pension starts.