The Thief of Breath and Hugs (part 1)

She'd been told with much conviction

How the window was a shield.

For outside there lurked a wicked thief

And her breath this thief would steal

 

But, her family stood beyond the pane 

A daughter, granddaughter & son 

Who'd send out smiles like rays of light

And through the glass they'd come

 

She blows them kisses, and shakes her fist

In case this thief's about

For if it harms a hair on their heads

She'll smack it straight in the mouth!

 

They go and Esther sits, 

As a carer brings her tea

She's wearing goggles and a mask

Is she going for a swim in the sea?

 

They say, she's part of the new frontline

'Though she doesn't have a gun

Just a cuppa tea and a happy smile

And some jam on a toasted bun! 

 

Esther's father died on the frontline

When she was just a bairn

A lifetime without his loving touch 

Is a harsh lesson to learn

 

Perhaps, new lessons are being learned

As life's seam gets picked apart

We'll find that life without a hug

Plays sad tunes upon the heart

 

Jo, the carer, keeps on smiling

Esther's little angel in blue

She doesn't have much time to sit

Just has to do what she can do

 

But she brings plenty of banter

And always asks about her health

The breath thief...David 19 (or summit?)

Is making a mockery of wealth

 

No travel, no shops, no parties

No gleaming jewellery to flash

The fancy cars all locked up

Nowt to do but count the cash

 

And people cover their mouths

With all manner of things wrong!

Sponges, bags & buxom bra's

And even a frilly thong!

 

She tells tales of people queuing

Right up to 5 miles long

And fighting over bog rolls

As if it were the very last one!

 

We used newspaper, Esther reminisces

During that bloody war

But it left the print aal ower ye arse

And made it a little bit sore!

 

Jo's laugh is long and infectious

It sets our Esther away

And doesn't laughter have the power

To bring sunshine through the grey?

 

But, someone's had an 'accident'

So, Jo dashes off

To old Edith In the corner

Who's developed a bit of a cough…

 

                          ***

 

The breath thief has broke in!

He's taken poor Edith's last

No family there to hold her hand

It was Jo who helped her pass

 

Esther's shaking her fist again

That bloody David! She says

He's got these lasses ran ragged.

Got their heads in a permanent daze!

 

But games night still goes ahead!

With singing and clapping to boot

Like during the war, they're boosting morale 

So, David, stick that up ye flute!

 

But this happy group are now fewer

And Esther's head aches when she coughs

But, she knows this life & its games

Of bright peaks and dark little troughs

 

                          ***

She can hear the thief getting closer

Creeping the halls to her door

He's already taken so much of her breath

Yet, the bugger still wants some more!

 

But, it's Jo who comes rushing in

She looks exhausted, poor mite

Her face is all red and swollen

From the mask she wears morning to night

 

Through the goggles, she winks

And Esther returns it

She brushes her hair

'Cos, like the advert, she's worth it

 

But her breath is as shallow

As a riverbed in summer

And deep down she knows

She may not see another

 

She thinks of her family

And smiles up at Jo

Who strokes her face gently

As tears start to flow…

 

                          ***

 

Her family all gather

Lighted candles in hand

Just waiting for news

Of Esther's battling last stand

 

But who's that at the window?

Shaking a determined fist

Chomping down on her falsies

Full of hope and defiant bliss

 

Aye, stick that in ye pipe, David,

And ye can smoke the bugger aal

night

'Cos ye gettin' ne more of my breath

Ye thieving little shite!

 

Jo is standing beside her

A rare triumphant day

But, her head aches more than ever

And she's keeping her cough at bay...

 

End.

 

 

 

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Her Last Dance ►

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