That impish look – dripping wet
from your shower when I’d wrap you
in a towel and how your eyes lit up
when I’d bring you breakfast in bed
as a surprise. How I talked you out
of suicide when you backed across
the road and left our neighbour’s
new Mercedes somewhat modified.
How good an artist you were; one day,
who knows, there might just be a market
for off-kilter rainbows. How you lived
for your garden, your plants and seeds.
The pomegranate tree you fertilised
by hand with a tiny, sable paintbrush
and I remarked how expert you were
at playing birds and bees, and we made it
a first on the greenhouse floor. How you
blushed from then on if you happened to
bump into the man next door.
The day you mowed a rat; previously dead,
you hastened to add. Out of sight, out of mind,
your philosophy...until the mower seized up
and it was down to me to fix it, and boy,
did that mower hum! One morning in spring,
you rescued a chick from the jaws of our cat –
cupped in your hands as if you were praying.
Later on, you confessed you did.
When they said I had Parkinson’s Disease,
and you dried my tears; bought me a T-shirt –
said, ‘Speedy Gonzalez’, poking fun at my
well-worn quip, “Sorry it’s taking so long,
but I don’t do quick!” So much I could
have written, but didn’t see fit. Couldn’t
see for looking what was under my nose.
So, for what it’s worth, this is your story.
The one I never wrote.