The grandchildren wait –
old enough to accept
that a last breath is death
and yet…and yet.
The sun is hot.
Not just hot,
it’s Greek-beach hot:
The children: (inhale) cartwheel.
(exhale) cling to each other and cry,
(inhale) ask quiet, careful questions,
(exhale) fly forwards, dive bomb backwards
and swim with strong, sure strokes
across the lough.
At the rented house, on the harbour,
the grown-ups come and go:
the baby wakes, the coffee pot’s filled up,
the frozen pizza’s cooked
and eaten cold.
And in the quiet room,
the children hold his hand,
or stand outside,
and send in memories of him,
that dance like dust motes
Dying takes a while.
He makes us wait.
Gathered together (no school, no work – just family)
their grandfather (the weatherman)
nudges the sun up high into the sky,
to catch with crystal flecks,
the silver fish
and warm the waters where they play.
This is his final gift to them –
another ice cream day.