The Sheep Shearer

Joan Struthers

Strike 3 your pension is suspended
CANCER IS TREATABLE
The Sheep Shearer spoke
I’m in hospital in the Cancer ward
He told her
There are people in here worse off than me
Didit OH Yeah

The TREATMENT continues continuing continuous continuously
The Sheep Shearer ENDURED till the last bag of Chemo
2 bone marrow transplants and countless blood transfusions
Till his doctor surrendered
There’s nothing more I can do
There’s nothing more can be done for you!
An ambulance will transport you to a hospice in your hometown shortly

I got 4 weeks Didit, maybe a little bit more
WELL I’m NOT saying FARWELL now

YOU CANNOT ACCSES YOUR SUPERANNUATION TILL NOVEMBER
It was May
Didit’s beloved Sheep Shearer died on the
first of June

The Sheep Shearer’s right hand and right arm was paralysed before his ambulance parked in the hospice car park
YOUR PENSION IS SUSPENDED
CANCER IS TREATABLE
The social worker here says I don’t have
any money left to pay for my funeral
I’d like a WAKE at George’s house
I’d like anyone to be there who wants to be
there
The Sheep Shearer was talking to his next
of kin his ex wife he was on a call
George is his son
No Didit’s with me
That’s lovely of her she had said
The Sheep Shearer quoted her to Didit
soon after the call ended
Didit’s my girlfriend
Still?
YEP she’s been my girlfriend for 34 years!

The Sheep Shearer buzzed his buzzer
He was sat in a wheelchair
A nurse offered him pear juice and a smile
It was week 3
Your cancer is less painful at the end than some of the others
We will help you die
Do you believe me?
He replied yes
WHERE’S MY HUG
the Sheep Shearer wrapped his left arm round her waist
Can I have my anxiety medicine please

Week 4 The Sheep Shearer was sitting on the edge of his bed
Didit busted him struggling to stand
I’m not supposed to but I DO
He was halfway up
She pushed him down on the side of the bed
In mid struggle Didit buzzed the nurse’s station
The Sheep Shearer WAS ON HIS FEET
Didit BUZZED AND BUZZED
The nurse rushed inside
She waited outside his door
Didit heard a monologue
The nurse’s voice SO STERN
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’LL GO
YOU’VE HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH YOUR BOWELS
YOU NEED US TO CARE FOR YOU
YOU NEED TO STAY HERE
The door opened and the nurse re- appeared
You’ve got to look after yourself Darling
The nurse was hugging Didit
If he stands up again
STEP AWAY
He’s a large man a heavy man
You’re tiny
STEP AWAY
That’s what we do!
STEP AWAY

The Sheep Shearer could n’t feel his right foot and leg
On week 4
He wants to see you but proceed with caution!
He’s refusing to wear clothes today
Is it ok if I give you a hand
Yes Didit
The Sheep Shearer was sitting on the side of his bed in a disposable nappy
A scrunchy polo shirt scrunched scrunching about his neck
She struggled to lift his arm
Struggling so slowly and so tentatively
In a voice as soft as a whisper
I’ve got this
I’ve got this
Didit repeated repeatedly repeating
I’ve got this
The Sheep Shearer buzzed the buzzer
A nurse promptly cleaned him up in the bathroom and she helped him back to bed
Can I have my anxiety medicine please

Look Didit!
I can still move my bum!
She got up on the bed with him
Propose to me Darling
I got the house preacher’s number on the top of my contacts

 

Here we are together
Breath in the MAGIC with me
WE ARE THE MAGIC
Are you breathing MAGIC
Yes
WILD IS WHAT WE ARE
YES
I love you Didit
Can we have a nap now?

Didit’s Sheep Shearer didn’t ever shear any
sheep
He worked overseas on the big oil rigs
Didit the suspicious ones are correct!
We are DEEPLY IN LOVE with each other

We don’t have to jump into bed together to prove it
Do we?
And the priest honoured his vow of celibacy

The Sheep Shearer