By Alanna Phelan
In he comes from his evening lesson, the December cold
still shrouding him, shielding him from my pestering.
His smile doesn’t reach his eyes, his words are flattened by fatigue,
but he tries.
One anxious arm locked around his leg, I wait for the verdict.
A sharp word, a chore forgotten is all it will take
for another night gone awry; for his mood to falter, flatline
and tonight, all is as well as it can be
“Grand job with the dinner, love”, the dogs are asleep.
The fire flushes my face and tickles his feet. The radio chatters,
but the frost lingers, a silvery cape around him still
“Cold hands, warm heart”, he squeezes mine as he replies
he’s had more famines than full bellies
yet he survives.