Sick Man

He doesn’t look well. He is thinner, and his face is ashen. We both agreed this when we saw him yesterday. He’s a smoker and we hear him coughing through his open window. Does he know? Does he suspect he might have cancer? Should we say anything? He is such a self-contained man, even though he shares his flat with his aged mother. He travels alone, he stays up late alone. I just don’t know. Perhaps he has no other symptoms apart from the cough and he’s been coughing for all the time we’ve lived here above him. I wish him well. I like him. He can be sardonic, but he is kind too. I’ll never forget the time he came to my rescue when he fell and I couldn’t get him up. A kind man, a good man, and bright, sharp-witted.

The wild strawberries are on their way, little buds of green promising red, tightly clustered.

A wood pigeon trills outside. The sky is a perfect emptiness, blue.