A musical interlude

Apprehension fills the silence in the doctor’s waiting room. Suddenly it is replaced by sweet innocence and nursery songs. A curly-haired angel sways in front of me and my Dad and with slightly less-than-perfect pitch serenades us with abbreviated lines;
“…farm ee aye ee aye…OH!”
We both smile and I tell her it’s a beautiful song. I catch her mother’s eye, who urges the child to sing some more along with her.
“Incy wincy spiiider….SPOUT!
…the rain…AWAY!”

The songs continue and they remind me of my own young ones now grown, I tell the mother that I am impressed that she knows so many. She replies with a foreign intonation that her daughter has picked them up from the television and outside. At home they speak Iranian.
“Emitis” She pronounces it Emma Tees, “Sing Peter Rabbit!”
The child joins in and I notice that she has a subtle touch of her mother’s accent.
“Peter Rabbit got a fly upon hees nose,
And he…AWAY!”
We clap and I comment on her pretty name.
“It means Persian Princess.” Volunteers her dad proudly. He has been sitting quietly in the corner and I notice that he is clasps an NHS letter like my father.
“How old is she?” asks someone else.
She had been two the week before and as her enthusiastic voice sings happy birthday to herself, the whole room joins in. For a while the shadowy clouds are lifted for these men awaiting their PSA levels in the cancer doctor’s waiting room.

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