A man called Harold

by Greta Stoddart

stands in front of me
head bowed very concentratedly
rolling and unrolling my sleeve

I stand very still
I don’t want to disturb him
I want to carry on standing like this
for as long as he is engaged in this    

I can see that this is something he needs to do
and that I am more than happy
to be part of that need

We are two people
standing in the middle of a room
rolling and unrolling a need

Nobby falls like a small rotted stump
slowly sideways  

It is a gentle not unhappy thud
on the dark carpet
of mulch and leaves and needles and loam

It is forgiving ground
where Nobby lies on his side alone

There’s a moment of pure unnoticing
where everything appears to be in its place

Nobby on the floor with his smiling face

The world opens out or shuts down

(which is it, which is it)