she sits, resting peacefully on the couch;
he’s in the other room, bent over a desk.
she’s looking back over the years.
she finds nothing lacking.
her skin is leathery and wrinkled;
though once it was fine and smooth.
she was once a true beauty.
her eyes are as bright as ever.
her bright brown eyes dancing, lit up with a hidden light;
cheeks warming at the fire of remembered passions.
she held the world in smooth brown hands.
now rough and calloused and ready for sleep.
in the back of her mind are darker memories;
bitterness, jealousy, mistrust, loneliness and longing.
smoothed over by forgiveness and time.
covered over by abiding love.
she hears him shuffling in the study, mumbling;
deep thoughts from a heavy book troubling him.
he was always after seeking knowledge.
but there was always time for loving her.
she coughs, a dry hack bending her frail frame;
he runs in and places his hand on her forehead.
he looks at her with love that never died.
she looks back up at him and smiles.
that look passes between them, that look…
the look that made her fall in love.
once it held promises of joy to come.
now it holds warm memories, so many.
she coughs; with concern, he sits down;
takes her smaller, roughened hand in his own.
he smooths it tenderly –
sweet hand that smoothed away his pain.
sweet hand that rocked the cradles of his children.
sweet hand that worked and loved and played
with fingers locked in his.
a soft shudder and a quiet, shallow breath;
a long look and a word that dies on the tip of her tongue.
she lived long and happy with nothing lacking.
but he’s left to die alone.