I had ‘specialed’ him,
coming in when off duty
with the odd comic, a bar of chocolate.
He would lie with his eyes closed
but twitching a little, like a snared rabbit.
His hands soft with disuse.
Even his hair slipped away
so each day we’d find brown threads
on the pillow.
All this so long ago I forget
his name even. In the end
he could only sip from a feeding spout.
When it happened I told the parents.
She had an odd little hat skew-whiff
over her forehead. The knot of his tie
too small, too tight, like his hands.
‘Thank you nurse.’ they said
as if I had told them the time.