49 Museum Street

The Codicil

The café sits
just blocks from the mouth of the
It exudes a scent of fish and potato
scalded in sunflower oil,
mixed with the damp pungency of coffee grounds
and the tang of Parmesan cheese.
Lunch is past.
The clerks and barristers, butchers and carpenters have resumed their posts.
He sits alone
with a copy of the codicil.

Unaware that at this very minute a car bomb in Baghdad has exploded; that a football player in France signs a 26 million Euro contract; that a child in Sudan slips into a coma from starvation; a poacher in Zambia fells a rhinoceros from 400 meters; a new mother gives birth to the second of twin boys in Ontario; a man in Moscow bites into a ripe cherry….

He is in arrested motion, deep in unconscious thought.
(Memories like rush hour traffic, resentments like road blocks).
Mental and physical grid lock freezes him.
The doctor says he won’t last the year.
Palliative care;
such a kind sounding term.
He need only sign the paper and she inherits nothing of his….

She has lost that part of herself that is able to care about others.
“It is just business,” she tells herself.
Busy, busy, each waking moment.
It has taken a life of its own.
She doesn’t need anyone any more.
Has paid her own way.
She will find out late she is mistaken.
She will never know of the papers that he has decided not to sign……