When he tried to hide his tears
after he lost the most valued toy in the world,
we tried to hide the fact it was so obvious.
When he lost his prime toy,
the teddy bear with loose skin,
we pretended he was brave and saluted at the burial.
When he privately lumbered about
and said he could not wait for the school ball,
we made provisions for failure,
but did not tell him.
When he did not find a date,
our rescue plan appeared to be an accident.
That job interview we prepared for him,
that examination we marked for him,
the years of protecting him from the world.
Of these we were proud.
We were selected as parents
in a radio competition.
We were toured around, grandmothers all over the suburbs of Adelaide
said “they are so wonderful with their poor kid”.
And one night the brain bled
and Dad tumbled down two flights of stairs,
his brain stained half red,
the rest of his life confined to a bed.
And last week Mum’s heart stopped.
It started again when they attached the great big machine.
And now it is all up to him to decide
the fate of his kin.