The small hand clutches mine,

Hot to the touch, the fever burns,

I wish I could reach into him,

And take his suffering for my own.

His fever, his headache, his vomiting,

Thirty nine degrees centigrade,

Despite paracetamol.

Another degree and it’s the hospital.

But I know this fever will pass.

In two days, he’ll be hungry again,

And in four he will annoy his sister,

As all boys should.

This is the true luxury of our generation,

Not the consumer junk, the TV or the PS3.

Not the chocolate fountain or the mobile phone.

I know this current epidemic is trivial,

The Norovirus in it’s latest incarnation.

With care and a high fluid intake,

My boy will live.

My Grandparents didn’t have this knowledge,

Or this luxury.

And the small white stones in the old graveyard,

Make very sad reading.

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