comforting her after the harrowing day.
The close warmth of his body,
the gentle stroking of her hair,
the deep love in his eyes looking down at hers
and a soft smile on his face
that belied his inner heartache.
First the funeral,
the graveside cluster of half known faces
gathered in a knot of dark clothed figures,
slowly dispersing with sorrowful expressions
and gentle nods of acknowledgement;
and a few tears.
Then the wake: a constant murmur of
sympathies, memories and platitudes,
mostly unheard or, at least, not absorbed.
The short, tear-eyed, words of thanks to all who attended.
The relief of treading her way home,
following in his deep footprints
along the snow-covered lane:
calling, on the way, at wheelchair bound Aunt Brodie’s,
to see she had provisions for the next few days.
His promise to call there again tomorrow.
Finally, hot soup and warm bread,
conjured up so quickly,
enriching the comfort of being home
with someone she could rely on forever.
She embraced his strength,
his ability to turn the greyest day into moments of sunshine,
only one cloud remaining.
‘Daddy, I think Mummy is afraid of the dark.
She’ll be crying.’