My grandmother says we’ve brought her here to die.

Her paranoia probes under our fingernails
with a splintered stick,
splitting the tissue-beds, prying us apart.
We give her pills for our pain.

Her cataracts cloud over
her unlettered  bewilderment.
but she can still see old blood on the ceiling
of the state hospital.

My mother is wrung, she can’t sleep.
Guilt stretches out on her bed,
nesting on sheets of the unsigned hospital plan.

We’ve had to put a price on my grandmother.
The doctor at the private clinic tells my uncle
hip operations costs hundreds of thousands
and old people don’t make it that far.