Her mind is edging closer now
as absentminded fingers grasp
the buttons of my shirt, each one
a comfort in such tiny hands.
Her shallow breath, its slowing pace,
betrays fatigue: her soft defeat.
She looks beyond us, unaware
that we’re intently watching as
her eyelids gently wilt. The day’s
relentless energy subsides
as sleep takes hold and offers us
the hope of one night undisturbed.
Paul Wooldridge’s work has appeared in The New Humanist Magazine, About Larkin (The quarterly magazine for the Philip Larkin Society), The Fat Damsel, The Cannon’s Mouth and The Good Funeral Guide. As well as focusing on fatherhood and the concerns of an average married father of two young girls, he also writes about loss and the passage of time. His aims are ‘to create something artful from the banal, finding poignancy in the mundane while balancing pathos with healthy doses of humour’.