Friday, July 15, 2011

Sorrow

[image from google]

To understand a swan,
my son said,
you have to learn
how to cry.

Today
I understood
what that means.

She looks
like a swan,
with her slim,
graceful neck,
and her long
silver hair.

And swans
mate for life,
it is said.

She and her husband
were just kids
when they married
in India,
an arranged
marriage,
as was the custom,
mated for life,
as was the way.

Children
did not come,
and her heart
was born to
take care,
so he received
all her caring.

They came to Canada
as young marrieds,
made a new life,
bought a big house,
shared all the days.

When he grew old,
and ill,
she cared for him
as tenderly
as a babe,
though she
could
barely hobble
on her walker,
and each movement
brought pain.

And now
he has died.

The house feels
too big,
so silent
and empty,
the tap, tap,
tapping
of her walker
down the hall
the only sound,
a lonely sound,
the gong of the
wall clock
at intervals
marking the hours.

Bravely,
because she must,
she prepares
an early supper,
as she has
every afternoon
for all these years:
but one potato, not two,
two chapatis, not four,
her fingers flying
swiftly as a girl's
through the familiar
motions,
flipping the chapatis,
while tears roll
silently
down her cheeks.

I've done
what I could do,
and leave her there,
to her
solitary supper,
her too-silent house,
as she waits
for the
hours and days
to pass,
for it to be
her turn
to follow him
Home.

7 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness Sherry.. a sadness I have seen with my own eyes working in the Nursing & Disability sectors. You captured the lonliness so well. A beautfiul but sad post!

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  2. I relate more than I'd like. One of my closest friends just lost her husband. Her world has shifted, nudging mine a-kilter, too.

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  3. As a friend once told me, our friends can walk beside us through the grieving process and they can help us as and when they may but, they cannot be in it with us, it's a path we all walk, alone.
    So sad, to lose someone you have loved so deeply. But, I do believe true soul mates re-unite somewhere in time, again.

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  4. Sherry, you are an observer extraordinaire. You capture so much in these ordinary common details. Thank you for being you,

    Elizabeth

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  5. Sherry, so sad; but I know you were a real comfort. She will always remember that.

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  6. Sad but so very beautiful too. You have seen and captured this with love and respect. x

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