Back to life

This one is for my wonderful mother in law, who does not deal in poisoned apples but only in loving support, cups of tea and thoughtful gifts for no reason.

Back to Life

The slug under the stone
oil slick glistening rainbows
Seventeen years and then some
Still it’s lurking
Still it’s growing
Still it’s here
year on year.

But you too remain
you get on the train
weary once more
trying treatments
no more
of the ins and outs
the jargon or the details.
Enough, you say.
Just this: the train, the walk,
pill or needle – look away –
just whatever the doctors say
then home and back to life.

We meet on another sunny day
shops or park, the children play,
Coffee, lunch: “My treat,” you say.
“It will be my treat today.”
We both know you say this every day.

There you are by the swings
Tired but still standing
Sore but still smiling
Worn but never beaten
Still giving, ever giving
Enjoying living.

The slug under the stone
is biding, waiting,
Devour & swell & overrun
it might
it may
But you stand firm and you pray
It will not win, not any day

There may not be a remedy
But death can have no victory
You drive home with a cheery wave
Confident in the empty grave.

(c) Judith Kingston, 2013

Linking up to Prose for Thought.

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