At Life’s Door

You came back. I saw you twice now.
You went out the front door. When you came back I was there too.
You had a coffee in your hand. I smelt the cake in your bag.
You looked at me. You looked away.
You stared at my Mum. Because you saw her before. But you were making sure she was watching me.
You didn’t smile at me like the nurse before she closes her eyes too long.
You didn’t talk at me like the doctor with his voice echoing off the wall.
You didn’t tell me the food was good today like the meal lady did. Even though I’m not hungry anymore.
You didn’t look down at the floor all the time like the cleaner.
You don’t know how to look at me.
You must be new here. You don’t know what’s going on with me at all.
I’m not going anywhere. I know why you looked away. It was my bald head. It was the tube taped to my nose.
You looked when you saw it wasn’t attached to anything.
No I’m not going from the door until Mum gets me what I need. Then she’ll put me in my pram. Take me home as I’m not coming back. Like the others in my ward.
And you don’t know it at all. Not like I know. Not like Mum knows but won’t say. Not like Dad knows but can’t say. I end up nodding at him. When he tries to say and still can’t.
Not like the nurse knows. Not like the doctor knows. Not like the priest knows. The one that says that I’m at life’s door? What does that mean?
When Mum gets me what I need, I’m not coming back.

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