Thursday, 4 September 2008


It was early morning
The sun was barely up
I knew because I saw it rise
I had lain in the darkness
Awake and aware for hours
Unable to sleep
Uneasy in my mind
Fearful of what maybe
Helpless in the face of events
Powerless to influence them
Just too far away
A continent away
Then I saw darkness slip into gloom
Then from gloom to glory
And in that glorious dawn light
I listened to world awaken
With all the sounds of first light
The chirruping birds
Of the dawn chorus
A milk float on its way
Clinking and rattling
Joe next door heading for work
Early turn this week
Then so I didn’t want to hear
The sound I was dreading
Beside me on the night stand
The telephone rang
A numbing fear gripped me
And for a moment I was frozen
Unable to move
Powerless to answer it
It’s never good news
Not at the crack of dawn
Good news always waits
Until a decent hour
When the telling of it can be savoured
And the listening appreciated
Good news was delivered with coffee
And consumed with tea
Good news did not come
With the breaking day and the dawn chorus
Only bad news came so early
Bad news never waited
There was no reason to wait
Bad news had no good time
It just had to be delivered
The phone rang again
And the fear released its grip on me
And I picked up the phone
The conversation was short
Its contents concise
It was the news I was expecting
Dreading, fearing
It was confirmed
I was now a member of the club
Sadly not an exclusive group
Quite indiscriminate in its selection
A club few wanted to join
But whose ranks are unshrinking
I had friends in the club
My wife was even a member
As was my boss
There was no shame in it
No social stigma
But I would have given anything
To have been excluded
To be denied admittance
To have my enrolment
Delayed for 10 or 20 years
Or even a few precious days
Just one short day, not even a whole day
Just a few hours over my travelling time
This is not an uncommon reaction
I am reliably informed
To resist membership
It’s not a club you want to join
After all no one chooses to join
The dead Dads club

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