A charming elderly couple

  

Her hand lightly on his chest

a lifeline holding her for a few pressing days.

They both know the time.

Seven decades of fusing into one, now

ready to be cleaved apart

with one exhale.

 

Women survive their husband’s death, but men

he rasps a shy whisper, men cannot continue on!

His deep ache crushes his ribs, batters his future

they are not afraid, they are breaking.

She is already separating.

 

Her hand holding will guide him to stand with her

on the threshold, repeating their life long pattern.

Much to ready before they kiss, she too fears

he may not recover, but it matters not quite so much now

her eye drawn to a new wild horizon, her pulse

senses freedom. She has readied, he cannot.

 

Her hand in the warmth of his hand

His lifeline holds her a few last pressing minutes,

They both know the time.

She is already leaving, ready,

no longer waiting she releases the connection,

that broken, raw coupling no longer holds.

 

She begins to see they will continue

with only a delicate exhale between

where she is and he is not.

Sharon Lopez Mooney, ‘A charming elderly couple’, in Songs to the Sun, a poetry anthology, ed. Kevin Watt, 2019, San Bernardino, CA, pp. 216-17