In these waning days, his greeting has a new tone, a higher register, a different kind of insistence: not so much a chirp of recognition, but one that hopes to be recognised. My room is his room now; the cataracts on his eyes are steam on glass and I’m uncertain whether he looks at me without seeing or looks without knowing. He eats when his bowl is placed nearby, consents to being picked up on clear afternoons and placed where the sunlight comes through to warm his bones. He’ll be petted, but only lightly, only briefly, then tries to arrange himself in a comfortable shape. I press my forehead against his, raise it to let him lick my hair, and quietly say ‘thank you.’ It is the time to take time.