Make a wish

By Dr Joseph Hawkins, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Clinical lead for End of Life Care, Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust. Twitter: @JoeHawk75825077

Photo of Jo Hawkins

I watched you get cancer,
And sadness became a sister to me.
Each birthday became a goal
But every time the cake came out you’d say no
Wordlessly I thought you’d given up,
A small part saying no to cake- and more.

But now you tell me you can’t blow out
The candles.
Panicked I look at your chest
My eyes X-rays in to your
Insides.
Watching your chest heave,
It takes me a moment to hear your
Bubbling laughter.

No, you laugh again,
Almost choking with humour.
Always quick to see the funny side.
-I’ve always loved that about you-
You said: I just didn’t want to make a wish.

Still smiling, you say that –
Every wish should be about asking for more
But having cancer
Really made you appreciate
What you had. So you told me.
You didn’t need another wish.

I’ll always remember that conversation
Seeing the love in your eyes
Despite a face that has changed so much.
I’m not you, so I close my eyes

And I’ll always wish for one more day
With you.

Also by this author:

Say You Have To Go
The Tree That Stands By My Window
I’m Afraid I have To Go Now

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