In sleep our deepest companionship.
A reminder of our wombtime,
bodies at ease,
The comfort of your breath,
your solid warmth,
for unwanted dark wakings.
In the quiet rhythm of our together living,
ordinary nights of gentle closeness
nourished, recharged me.
It took five years after you died,
and a new man occasionally beside me,
The loss of our nights
impacted more than
the glaring emptiness
of my widow days?
Car doors banged.
They walked towards me,
full of love and comforting words.
No, no talk of my husband today.
This is my mother’s day.
His funeral still in the planning.
I walked with them,
old friends of hers, and mine, and his,
towards the church she loved,
full of family and friends.
I stood in the pulpit,
the first ever time.
The eulogy went well.
Only one more to go.
They called me on the Sunday afternoon,
a sunny May day,
the whole family round your bed in the dayroom.
You holding court, sitting up in bed,
a table over your knees,
adorned with vintage motorbike bits,
your usual self still,
quiet, watching, enjoying us.
I stepped into the corridor,
the manager of the home,
“She is dying”.
I could not go,
passed the job to my brother.
I had so wanted to be with her,
her special only daughter,
knowing she loved me being there.
I turned back to the room,
to my beloved husband,
where I needed to be,
beside you, in the centre of our family.
That evening and the next day
I tracked her slipping away through texts,
until the final call on Monday night.
“She has gone”.
No time for grieving then.
I had to be strong for you, us, the living.
We didn’t burden you,
facing your own solo journey into the unknown.