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for my Dad in hospital, Christmas morning, 2011

As you lie here in a bed
White linen sheets, corners crisp and clean
Think back to the willow tree with its falling ropes
As green as hope
Growing freely while the children play in the sun
Watch as they take running dives
Head-first at full speed
With screams of laughter. They reach the end
Of the long black plastic sheet
And pick themselves up,
Ignoring the grass stains,
The little scrapes and cuts.
There's no such thing as pain
As they run back up to the top of the hill.

Charlie Woodward

Poetry Home Page

I am immensely proud of this one. The big garden at the community sloped down to the willow at the bottom. A twenty metre strip of vinyl and a plentiful supply of water from the hose, and we were set for a favourite summer pastime. The delicate balancing of pleasure and discomfort for the kids—and more to come—emerging from the scene at the hospital bedside where I am recovering from surgery which will hopefully give me a few more months pain free is remarkably insightful, and I love the odd flash of such insight in Charlie as I have seen over the years.