Aftermath of a Long Illness
He recognized her glowing face:
The now near-hidden smile; big eyes
Demanding answers, no disgrace;
The full and loving mouth which sighs
Delights, but lately morbid sorrows;
And those sweet cheeks, still rounded pinks,
The nose's curves the forehead borrows
To roof the places where she thinks.
But where's her thought that greets each morning
With joy? He searches through the dark
Spaces around her eyes. Suborning
The witnesses of her absent spark
He burrows in the whorls of an ear,
Finding only the shadow of a fear.
Dressing My Patient Lover
A red scarf peeks beyond the collar;
Suede pants spill off a metal hook.
She'll change her clothes; I cannot stall her,
Can only stand beside her, look
For one white blouse as yet unstained,
A pair of stockings for numb feet,
A morning kiss with love unfeigned,
And joy at rendering chaos neat.
Inside the shrouded closet, shame
Exposes cloudy inhibitions:
One the baby we can't name;
Another pride-filled exhibitions;
The last a fiercely stubborn will
To pound an anxious heart now still.
One-Act Without Words
He queried silently. She heard
And raised her feathered eyebrows high
Above dark eyes that read the word
He would not say, a silent cry.
In time for what? she thought, no doubt
For her the answer would be left
Behind the echo from a shout.
Her husband's bellows could be deft.
Experience fit them; and the glove
Of propriety restrained their tongues.
So, trapped between the jaws of love,
They did not move, or air their lungs.
Such tender energy had fled
To say aloud what had been said.