It was the wrong lift
He was 15
It was meant for the hospital porters but he was lost- in more ways than one
They wheeled it in
Under a black blanket
Embroidered with flowers, black flowers, can’t be right! A childhood memory malfunctioning in retrospect?

The mass below the covering moved about as the porter rammed it in beside them

“What is that Dad.”

The old man grimaced and uttered words that hung around for years

“A body.”

Definitely the wrong lift
Not a blanket but a shroud
Not a mass but a dead person, flopping about with its rough handling like a skin and bone jelly. No dignity in death. An orchard full of decay, his foot sinking into the rotten flesh.

Is that what they’ll do with grandad soon
a thought snuck into his mind, like an uninvited guest paying no gratitude after eating you out of house and home

For many years lifts would be a difficult place for him to be

Copyright John de Gruyther 2017


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