Alphonse

Alphonse

She has company now and he’s making her weak,
In the shadows he waited – he played hide and seek.
Wasn’t seen for a while as he found his way through
To the depths of her being, and that’s when he grew.

He was gentle at first – made her laugh, made her smile,
She had joy in her eyes, and then fear for a while.
She was funny and scared and muddled and clear,
She was strong and then weak, and she wanted us near.

She has cuddled and kissed me for all she is worth
And she’s talked of her love and her joy at my birth.
She has put me ‘in charge’; she has wept in my arms
And we’ve chosen the poems and talked about psalms.

She has joked about poo, and laughed like a drain
And she’s asked me to call her ‘Mumsee’ again
She speaks of the journey she’ll take on her own
She requests that we make sure she isn’t alone.

Now Alphonse has decided to take more control,
He’s making her shake, he’s making her roll,
He has stopped her from smiling and gets in her way
As she struggles to make her own sense of the day.

She calls him Alphonse and she taps on her head,
And she reckons he’ll take her, asleep, in her bed.
In a moment she switches and talks of her plan
To make coffee cake, when she gets home, when she can

And she’ll talk to her doctor re when this will be
And she’ll list all the people she’ll travel to see;
Then she looks in my eyes and I know that she knows
Alphonse is in charge – he creeps and he grows

She is taking the path she must walk on her own,
We are holding her hands and she isn’t alone.
There’s a point in the journey where we must let go
But we wait, and we don’t, and we hope we will know

When is this – when’s the day? When’s the time? What’s the plan?
We ask doctors and nurses who tell us they can
Only say the word ‘weeks’; only save her from pain,
So we sit at her bedside and hold her again

Alphonse, you’re a git, in a number of ways
You’ve taken control, dominating her days
But you did make her laugh about rude things, like poo
This isn’t the kind of thing Mumsee would do.

And you gave her the chance to break all her own rules
To love and be loved, to eat fudge, to make fools
Of us all, in our gravity, wondering where
She’ll go next in her mind – she hasn’t a care

She is making us laugh as much as we cry
So, Alphonse, thanks for that, but please would you try
To be gentle with Mumsee now – she’s passed your test
You’ve given her grief – she’s given her best.

Now’s the time for some peace, for the softness of bed
For a stillness, a calm, and no noise in her head
As she moves on her pillows and draws in her breath
Let her know that her children will love her to death.

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