Wondering, she watched as arm in arm they drew
towards the car, walking so silently.
Her nerves stretched taut as an elastic band.
The February day grew monochrome.
What's next? she said, braced for the brutal cure
of radio- or chemo-therapy,
but her friend smiled her brave, familiar smile:
Heaven's next was all she said, and they drove home.
For my mother, Joan. The story was recounted to me by her friend Joan
Newth, who is the she in the first line.
© Godfrey Rust 1995, email@example.com. See here for permissions.