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I was in the room when the tumour was announced,
Though not so much announced as spared,
For breath was not around when that spare sound
Slipped softly into the room and fled:

Fled, for though I saw death all around
And imagined my soul there on that cross for all to see,
No one else had caught that sound
And it died on the still air.

In the classroom everyone tried to pretend they hadn’t heard that a classmate was in hospital with cancer.

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