I remember pushing
my father around the ward.

“Cancer,” they said.
“But it’s kinder
not to let him know.”

In those days,
it was better to die
without knowing why.

Did I betray him
by not telling him
what I knew?

Two weeks we had,
He sat in his wheel chair
and I wheeled him
up and down.

I lifted him
onto the toilet,
he strained and strained
but couldn’t go.

he said, sitting there.
“Will you rub my back?’

How could I say no?

That strong man,
the man who had carried me
on his back,
and me standing there,
watching him,
his trousers around his knees,

and me
rubbing his back,

for him to go.

17 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. I feel this down to my bones. I had my father with me to care for him at the end of his life. When he finally had to go to nursing care, it was only because it was no longer safe for him to be home. Your father is your first hero. For sons and for daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Takes me right back to my dad, Roger. He knew though. The last weekend I was with him, he asked me to rub ointment on his back to help relieve the pain. He was like a skeleton with huge tumor lumps under his skin…
    Hard memories. Yet love lives on…

    Liked by 1 person

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