I guess
I’ll never forget
you sitting there
on that bed
at the end
of that ward.


It seems burnt
into my memory
like some old
piece of film
repeating over
and over
in my mind.


I go over
the last words
you said,
try to get them
in order, try to
unfold each word
as if it were
a puzzle
to be solved.


That look you had,
the deep set eyes,
tired, worn;
the breathing laboured
hard to get;
the puffed up
hands and arms.


You were eating
some chocolate mousse
I think, small dish,
small white spoon,
half eaten sandwich
to one side.


I felt along
your puffed up arm
with my fingers,
felt the hand, puffy,
not the right colour.


We talked,
you slow,
pushing out
the words.


Not a good night,
you said.


Dinner wasn't up
to much, some
doctor came,
some scan
to be done,
you said,
what for?
you replied.


I helped you back
on the bed,
set your pillows
neat and firm.


We talked
some more,
these would be
your last words,
mundane matters,
not deep
philosophical dealings,
these were
small talk mutterings,
sick bedside chatter.  


No famous last words,
no farewell speech.
I'll see you tomorrow,
I said.


you said,
closing your eyes
on the bed.


That was it;
last words all said.

Next day,
late afternoon,  
your heart
and you,
my son,
were dead.

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