We walk into the magic land
of steam engines
and Father Christmas
sat in the corner
of an old fashioned carriage
with doors that slide shut.
Not the Orient Express perhaps
but there are sword balloons
and stickers and Thomas the Tank Engine
puffing home as the light fades.
Two little boys who believe
In the power of reindeer,
the whistle of The Fat Controller,
the wonder of time travel
as the world rolls by the window.
The chocolate countdown to Christmas.
The gynaecologist asks me
how high my pain threshold is.
Another little lump. Another biopsy.
Another probably benign,
but my faith in probably
has been profoundly shaken.
I no longer believe
when they open me up,
it will be all silver ribbons
and the crinkle of wrapping paper.
I worry that I’m not on the right list,
that they don’t know where I live,
that my letter has been lost.
Then I remember you saying
you’d take me to the North Pole
and we’d drink hot chocolate all the way.
I need to hold on to that kind of magic
when the rational arguments
of surgical options
threaten to shine brighter
than the silver tinsel
of what you’ve diagnosed
as the best Christmas tree ever.