In that moment there was a sudden silence
senses heightened I listened to your breaths
the change was so rapid and then nothing
seeing you slump and being caught and then held
I am reaching for the phone in the next moment
as you are lowered to the floor, laid out flat

I send out for help even as I make my way to you
I do not remember the words I said from that moment
but I've been told that I appeared totally calm
that I instilled calm determination to act
to do the right things in those next moments
to save what could be salvaged, to at least try

And then more moments as men in green arrive
surrounding you in a huge flurry of activity
as we stand on the side-lines watching, hoping
in the next moment I am thinking of your mother
I am waiting to see what I will have to tell her
I am preparing sad and happy words in my head

I am trying to find a combination that will work
that will give hope without false promise
funny, in all my anticipation of this moment
I somehow completely forgot to envisage this part
where we move beyond helping you to helping yours
and in the next moment I am on the phone again

Talking to a woman I've never met yet feel I know
going through the facts of those few moments
asking if I can come and take her to be with you
finding her on the map but unable to navigate
thankfully you have more friends in this moment
as I am taken to in turn take your mother in

Meeting someone with your eyes but clouded
quelling her worry in a babbling stream of talk
telling me in those next hours the story of you
in those moments I learn of you as a baby
as a boy, as a man, and as a son. I learn you
knowing now what you wouldn't want me to know

I know how you value your dignity and privacy
I've kept my distance not from dislike but respect
knowing your discomfort is disguised with banter
laughing with you, trying to find some ease
and over the years we have found that haven't we?
I wonder if we'll have the chance to laugh again

Your sister arrives and so I take my leave
being taken again to be with your friends
where I explain the events of those moments
the calm crumbles and I am myself once more
how thankful I am that we thought about that moment
that we planned and acted to give you a chance

I heard this morning that you know where you are
this tells me all I need to know for now
hope surges, the delicious prospect of more
of laughs and some time perhaps even friendship
and when I next see you ... what will I say?
that your friends were with you in that moment.


  1. Difficulty inherent in this situation. You paint a strong vision in this writing...a scene I have imagined many times.