Rain patters on the window pane.
Leaning on the pillow; listening to the rain
I see our family photograph on the wall.
Its speckled glass
Fragmented, separating us;
Father, mother, sister and me
In neat cages
How long ago was it taken?
Thirty years or was it more?
Father dead, sister married and gone.
Lying in her room reeking of
Flash of lightning.
A sudden impulse to see her.
I leave my bed in darkness and
Tread past ghostly silhouettes of
Past monuments
In the sitting-room and
Stand beside her bed.
I gaze at her cadaverous face,
Protruding cheek bones
And listen to her heavy breathing.
Is this woman my mother?
I turn away and see in the mirror
A stranger
Peering at me.

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This poem shows time's alienating effect on the speaker.