Friday 2 June 2023

The Gentle Man

by Nick Gisburne

His mother bends to grease the folds of fat.
He weeps. She sees the meat between his teeth.
The hunger, huge, she knows, is more than that.
A deeper, darker sickness swims beneath.
He fights to move, can barely take a breath.
She wipes the daily dirt he cannot reach,
And struggles to decelerate his death,
But sweet salvation sits beyond their reach.
He never chose the nature of his fate.
The weight of what he sees is what he is.
Contempt and condemnation, both create
The only hate that really matters - his.
    She comforts him, refusing to degrade
    The troubled boy, the gentle man she made.