Fingers to eyelids press, sight

closed to better see memory

and recall.  Face in grimace, he imagines

what went before or happened then.

And a thought – Did I..? – heralds fatigue,

a weighted veil descends and settles

over shoulders tight and hunched in shame

as images return full speed

to crash with violence in his brain.

That eager energy of anxiety – Of hope!

that buoyed him through each day and day

instead becomes a drain and his skin

loses its handsome colour; drags to that old

long-ago familiar blue of tinge, and of mien.

A sigh; a pause; and one again.

He tuts – What now? – but cannot, eyes open,

see past his deceptive pain.