To the bravest man I know

a poem by Lady Shaula Salathe, Australia - poetry writer, author, poet

You held my hand when I could no longer make sound,
You carried the dish away from me, time and time again -
You answered their questions,
You slept only as a dragon sleeps,
and did not complain of being tired,
You laid a hand gently and warmly upon my back
for half a day to ease my pain
You tried to help me leave that room,
With your beautiful voice telling me of places we love,
You knew my every wish with a single word or gesture -
You fed me precious, precious water through the end of a straw,
You played the music, and kept the hair from my face with cooling cloths
- you watched my pain -
and I could not say thank you -
And still time passed and you
gave me the gas and you
moved my tubes and listened for our baby’s heartbeat -
The heartbeat
And Ravel’s piano concerto - I remember these well.

And you
warmed me when I was cold and
you cooled me when I was hot
and you told me I was beautiful -
and you meant it.
And I could not say thank you
And I could not say thank you

And time went on
And you cried and I wanted to hold you
and comfort you
to ease your pain…
But I could not
And I could not say thank you

And suddenly the end was beginning
and I could feel his head
and I looked to the left
but you were a foot off the ground and
your tears had changed
and your face had changed

and with one push - it had finished
and begun -
and now there were no words -
only some tears -
there were no words left -
I could find none
and you also
and our faces spoke many things
and they helped me through the small
chores to follow
and our bond had become such I didn’t
even need to look at your face to know
how you felt.

At the moment of his birth
You and I reached a union that cannot
be broken -
We have shared life -
And now I have the words and
I have the actions
but they are too late
and you know that.

I never once said please
I never said thank you
And you stayed and
You were there
And you were my friend
And we shared it all

And now,
I am You
And You are Me

[Written a few days after the birth of our first son, Xander,
After 32 hours hard labour at Monash Medical Centre: 28 hours on hospital bed -
not allowed to stand for fear that baby (8 weeks premature)
would come too fast, then 4 hours induced!]

We will meet soon, You and I
Pregnant with Life
The Seed

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