is what Paddy says
the night he sits by Frankie’s bed in the hospital.
He whispers it:
Sorry Frankie, sorry.
Frank is soft and dozy
not sure if he’s dreaming
so he makes his hand move
or thinks he does, he wants to
touch Paddy to see
if he’s really there
then he feels fingers
touching his
and he smiles even though
his eyes are closed.
Then all he hears is the soft plop
of the bag of clear liquid
they drip into his arm
the quiet footsteps of nurses
who come with little torches
they lift his eyelids and shine them
into his eyes, they mutter
so low he can’t understand the words.
Once or twice he thinks he sees Dad.
There’s a squeak of wheels
as patients are wheeled in and out
the crisp shift of sheets
as they make beds,
Frankie just drifts
in and out, thinking:
I’m happy
in this nowhere land.

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