Palliative Care

Outside, the children, off from school in spring,
march happily in troops of pealing voices
and you hear them, though just now
you couldn’t hear the doorbell ring
and couldn’t choose between the dinner choices.

When the daffodils came out
and we puttered round the house with sheets
you were the first to see them:
you brought me running with a shout
that shoppers must have heard on Granville Street

though just last night
you couldn’t read the headline of the Sun
before I left to get the errands done.

At midday, when the clouds are overcome
and sparrows fill the spaces with their song
while sunlight fills the nursery
you get up from your chair to see the plum
though yesterday the walk was far too long

and yesterday your legs were weak
and yesterday you wouldn’t speak or stand upright,
but all the evening watched
the steady breathing of the light.