Sunday, April 3, 2016

One. Hundred. Years.


                                                                                                                For Ralph

his body claims Life as a Joy and a Right
slim & sere, barely raising the covers
turning always to the empty space beside
seeking the elusive scent of her hair
the warm indent left 
when she rose to put on coffee

gone these 37 years, but every morning
coughed up by Dreams on the shore of Today
he turns to her
to her shade
in the fullness of one hundred years
the way flesh melts and skin thins & tissues
so easily torn & life force spilled
not like those fine fat days
they grew from young & juicy fruit flush
with roses music laughter
all unknowing of the shrinking
the flyweight husk of memory slipped lonely between the sheets
awakening ever in some other place and time
a constant surprise that the songs and singers have all faded
into drawn dawn eons light years of the texture of ghost memory
that scent of coffee brewing
eyes closed he holds for one more beloved moment
the wisp of waking to her at last again

I love, he breathes

and lifts the fragile tissue-clothed rack of brittle bones
stretched & wizened ligaments
to the ache of another day
fluid scents, liquid air
fluorescent colors of another spring on earth
colors cast about like brilliant Holi powders
the broad sweep of a life
narrowed to the distance between two chairs

jazz nights passed into heaven’s band
the strains of those old songs caught
like passing flutterbys
in a sticky web
struggle with abandon to escape

one hundred years, and such a Time!
the tenor of lives evolved
into fulfillment of every science fiction fantasy
quiet small town memories in quaint black & white
frozen in antique photos
elder values joyously abandoned
in a new and global world
provincial touchstones, for better or worse

we took a bite out of the beating heart of the planet

© pamela twining 2016