My dad met death like an unwelcome guest
who had come to his door unasked: and he
must ask death in, give even death’s request
a fair hearing: offer to make some tea.
My mum meets death with her eyes closed: asleep,
her heart enlarged strives one more beat, her breath
rattles her chest, her legs kick, her words keep
putting away her own belief in death.
Twenty-fifteen the year I saw my dad
meet death open-eyed, going away from us
quietly as if he had his own work, had
to go away alone: naught to discuss.
Twenty-fifteen the year I saw my mum
follow her husband, whatever may come.
Geoffrey Carnall, 1st February 1927-20th February 2015
Elisabeth Carnall, 17th July 1935-23rd December 2015