Each evening she finishes her meal
with a small cube of cheese on a stale piece of bread.
Dry is better for digestion, protects against wind.
Calcium is good for the bones.
In winter she moves the chair closer to the electric fire,
which she leaves on for just three hours a day.
She does not hold with showers, a bath every four days suffices,
sluicing down all water marks with a damp cloth.
She brushes her teeth with an eggtimer
and flosses every chink, quietly, mercilessly.
Then, before she lays down her head on the starched pillow,
she carefully pouts her lips
and frames them with the scarlet luxurious ooze
of Chanel’s True Red.