All through the night his son lay with fever
The father sat in his chair
While his wife and daughter
Hushed in urgency
Carried water bowls and blankets
Up and down the stairs.
When the nurse arrived he did not move
As she followed them up to the boy’s room.
Then the doctor.
Still he did not stray
And while the clock ticked on the mantle
He sat there stiller than stillness.
Sat while the cries rose in crescendos
Then fell and filled the house with moans.
He sat there all night
Till there was no sound left
Then lifted himself from his chair
Opened the door to the morning chill
And stepped outside.