He walked down the corridor,
My mum's hand tightly locked in his.
The cold walls radiated their eerie chill,
He was about to receive a cruel message.
He never was one for talking much,
Now in his late sixties, the wrinkles
Merged into the natural contours of his face,
Locking in the anticipation of what was to unfold.
Filing into the clinic, the two of them
Waited to hear the results of the tests.
His fragile build struggled to carry his weight,
Fear rose in his eyes, brow moistened in anticipation.
The announcement made, his mouth dried,
As the reality of the words came to pass.
A strong man discovering his vulnerability
Is an awkward thing to witness.
The two walked to the bus stop,
His face still numb from the news.
It was going to be a long road to travel,
But they'd do it together, just as they always had.
They didn't know how to tell us.
It wasn't anyone's fault,
Sometimes these things just happen.
We never thought it would happen to him.
They held hands all the way home,
The emotion welling in his eyes,
The past suddenly irrelevant,
As the future unfolded itself before them.
For 40 years, they'd been at one,
Through all the splinters and scars,
They'd always overcome anything.
He'd put the kettle on, and slumped in his chair.
No amount of sugar could sweeten this,
Staying true to that moment,
The best way to be right now,
They thought we hadn't noticed.
The hot tea stung his lips,
As though the numbness had gone.
This can't get better with just a Band-Aid
And for once, there was no one to blame.