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Oh Danny Boy,

the pipes, the pipes are calling,

from glen to glen 

and down the mountainside

 

Michael.

Yes dear.

How long has it been.

Five. Days.

It’s not right Michael. I saw it. It isn’t right.

I know. But you can’t tell them that. They won’t understand. I have to go. They’re coming.

No Michael don’t.

Close your eyes.

Will you sing. Michael.

 

Michael had a beautiful voice. No one sang like Michael. It was the sound of prayers and paper-whites, and the peal of dark brown bells.

 

The doctor felt her forehead.

How are you today Miss Daniels.

The doctor's hands were pink and cool. They smelled like wintergreen.

You’re going home Miss Daniels.

Ninety-five over seventy.

The nurse's voice was sharp. She spoke in needle jabs and pin sticks.

Ninety-eight point six, she said.

Very good, said the doctor. We’ll get you a wheelchair. Then you can go.

Their padded shoes made sounds like rabbits in the snow.

 

Michael. What am I going to do.

You have to take it home.

Oh Michael. How can I take it home. I can’t even look at it. 

Once you take it home. Then it can be returned.

Michael’s eyes were dark, like a path through the woods at night.

Oh. I see. Home. And then.

Yes. And then.

She looked in his eyes.

Michael’s eyes were blue as a Sunday afternoon.

How Michael.

Water. Earth. Simple is best.

You'll be there. Won't you.

In sunshine. Or in shadow.

There’s no other way.

What other way could there be.

 

***

 

Summer's gone

the roses falling

 

Black moss and deep green pools.

 

Hushed and white

 

A clock in an empty room.

 

Michael’s voice was like a prayer. No one sang like Michael.

 

The nurse turned away from the window.

It isn’t right.

The doctor said, I know.