Small hands pushing buttons too large
through holes too small. The fragile fingers
could not manipulate and perform
a task of such dexterity.
And your hands, ten years older
should have been more frail; and yet
stronger, firmer as you dressed her.
What are these smells that fill the houses
of the old: the musty scent of
memories lost, the painful regret
of loosened love let go, or
the tenacity of a promise kept?
Fifty years together you lived;
weathered the storms, battled the other,
and somehow survived it all.
Now I watch you gently kiss
this familiar stranger good night;
a smile and then one final caress.
Originally Published in Vox Poetica | August 19, 2010