'Arthur' - by Alyson Hughes

This gnarled man before me who’s hunched into a ball,
Was once a man who stood so proud and so tall.

He hides his pain with a grimace and a grin,
No one knows the toll of his skeleton within.

His twisted frame contorts with disease,
It ravages with no manners, no thank yous nor please.

Each limb and joint feels broken in two,
So swollen and knobbly with a colourful hue.

He needs help doing the simplest of things,
From eating and dressing and tying shoe strings.

Arthritic pain grips him day after day,
But this has not always been the way.

As a lad he’d climb trees and have lots of fun,
And fool around in the midday sun.

He did what he could for his kids and his wife,
Providing them with a future for a wonderful life.

But that man who stood so majestic at dawn,
Has withered and faded and practically gone.

His heart beats slower, his kidneys have shrunk,
All this from the rheumatoid and medical junk.

Yet despite all his anguish he does not whine,
And when asked he’ll reply with a grimace….’I’m fine!’

- Alyson Hughes

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