Susan Mallory

The curved stucco wall and iron banister
block clear passage, the stretcher too stiff
to maneuver the narrow twist of the stairs.
I suggest the two undertakers fashion
a hammock from your bed sheet.

A man at your head, the other at your feet.
I am in the middle, stepping sideways,
cradling your body to steady the swing.
The first time I have carried you, my father.
You are heavier than I imagined.