"Unnoticed, he blends into the grey park bench, eyes clouded and watering, permanent tears for friends lost in a trench not quite enough of a life-time ago. Will anyone acknowledge him? Smile at him? Say hello? How many people walk past without seeing? Are they afraid to take a look at their future being? Can see past hands on a walking cane, shaking, which once held arms straight, which killed as he dreamed of his mother holding him close in a muddy field in France, dug in, his only perspective – the sky – looking up, imagining his Victoria Cross moment, which never came. His history has died with those he has loved: he exists alone now, his life stored in his head, musty albums in an abandoned attic. His film is ending, subtitles about to roll, last moments of anticipation, will his story change before the last curtain call? Was he the star of his own show, his life? Would that he had been so invisible then, in that giant gutter, repelling the end but now the magnet has turned, death - an indecisive friend. Ninety odd birthday's leave a stuttering heart and a once-red poppy, grey. On a bench, sad fingers trace the brass in which his wife's name is interred hearing aid off so his sweetheart's voice can be clearly heard. As there will be no 'hello' today. That's all he wants. A quiet hello. So he knows he's not already a ghost."
Sarah Heath ~ 2016