Strangers come to caretake and her tongue
lies large and quiet in its crook.
Across the street black tin wardrobes and twin
mattresses lean against the old-age home

and in next door's empty lot frilled weeds
flatten till they layer like a wing. Spiders rattle
in old leaves looking for food
while the strangers are off provisioning.

They cut loaves for sandwiches
she drags to school
past the home, where paramedic vans leave
lights running, staining the wall