The heart shuts,
The sea slides back,
The mirrors are sheeted.
"At the family gatherings, the great-grandmothers were put out on the sun porch. But because of some problem with the children, at the same time as the brother-in-law had fallen into a drunken stupor, the great-grandmothers were forgotten by everyone for a very long time. When we opened the glass door, made our way through the rubber trees, and approached the sunlit old women, it was too late: their gnarled hands had grown into the wood of their cane handles, their lips had cleaved together into one membrane, their eyeballs had hardened and were immovably focused out on the chestnut grove where the children were flashing to and fro. Only old Agnes had a little life left in her, we could hear her breath sucking through her mouth, we could see her heart laboring beneath her silk dress, but even as we went to her she shuddered and was still."
Lydia Davis, “The Great-Grandmothers” (1997)