the woman grieves for the man
asleep in the chair, grieves for her
part in his descent, how he has pushed
her to the margins of his existence,
sleeps with his back to her, the space
between them an unknown universe,
and longs for some kindness, some
sanity in the despair.
she sees the animals around his
sleeping hands, how they crave the aroma
of him, the closeness he doesn’t want to,
can’t, give of his own free will,
their need to feel his touch. she
feels the same, but his resistance
bears down on her, and reduces her
merely to an onlooker, an observer,
a judge of decay.
he isn’t old, she knows that, and
sees his mind decimate his body
with a million fears she can’t push
back into their boxes, with an abundance
of worries he shouldn’t carry constantly.
she feels helpless and lost in a maze
of his involuntary making, and tries,
each day, to find a way out.
but he doesn’t see her anymore, not
in the fields nor under the trees, nor in
his wild goose chases across the moors,
nor in the echoes of the times they had.
at night, the animals come to her
when he finds sleep at last in
the arms of something different.
Poem 3 of the sequence. One to go.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 196