You are asleep.
Are you dreaming, I wonder?
Are you singing in your sleep?
Walking in the Rain perhaps?
Or maybe Puff the Magic Dragon?

I sit by your bedside – half on, half off. That’s the way of it, isn’t it?

I concentrate on the slow rise and fall of your chest as you breath, the sound of air barely perceptible brushing past your lips.

Your eyelids flutter a little – like new-born butterflies. One foot is poking out of a tired old coverlet – tired and old, like ourselves. Your brow is slightly damp with perspiration. I see you smile in your sleep, and wonder…

A noisy car rattling past causes you to stir momentarily, change position, roll over. The sheets sigh from missing your warmth and the fresh cold areas welcome you with their soft and sweet sheet-embrace. Oh to be a sheet!

You settle in again.
Your breathing evening out again.
A gentle, rippling snore escaping you makes me almost laugh.
But I cannot laugh – I must not wake you.

I feel an urge to dive into your dream.
“I’m here! It’s me – look at me, look at me!”

But you do not open your eyes. For a brief moment, a cold and sharp fear gushes through me – this is how still you will be when you pass on – no, you will be stiller.

And colder.
We will both be still and cold.

For now, you rejoice in your oblivious fantasies.
And I will rejoice in watching you…


Mark German

Strathmore, Australia

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