It was dark and cold
There was the eerie light of the street lamp
The only light available
As he tiptoed around the house
Trying to make no noise.
The child had been awake
4.30am he trotted in,
But no more was he allowed to snuggle in bed
He had to go back to his own
Mummy took him and he did not complain
He fell asleep straight away
Leaving Daddies sleep uninterrupted.
She heard him wake and tried to summon the words
But speaking at 5am was too difficult
He bent over kissed her head and silently left the room
Work clothes on,
Three jumpers, two pairs of socks and two trousers
Preparing himself for the cold
That is outside.
The stuff he had been shielding himself from for two weeks now!
He was ready,
The lunch was made last night,
The flask ready to be filled.
His tea bags, and sugar packed
Didn’t mean he wanted to go.
He prepared himself and took a deep breath in
Opening the door to the outside world
Closing the door on the sheltered life they had been living
Just the three of them in their own world
Opening presents, seeing family, playing with new toys
Waking at whatever time they woke
Child snuggled in bed with them
Going to sleep in the early hours of the morning without a care in the world.
That life was gone for now,
Now normality was resumed
Working 5am till 6pm
Leaving in the dark
Arriving in the dark
Childless days, leading to minimal child filled nights
Aching and tired for five out of seven days
A normality none of them liked
But one that was necessary for now!
One that had to be done
So he held his head high
And marched down the path
Getting in the car
Starting it and taking the long drive to work
And remembering why and what he was doing it for!