My dear spouse died – a tumour of the brain –
I gazed with pity on that shaven head,
So nun-like, quiet, on the smooth white bed,
We watched her breathing faintly. It was plain
She would not stay, would never more regain
That vivid being who so recently
Had paced the Asian lanes and laughed with me
When hurtling back from Russia in the plane.
We sat together in the silent room
Our nephew Keith and I, both well aware
This was the end. We had few words to share.
This was the end, I thought, an end for whom?
For me, of love that living had increased
These more than forty years. The breathing ceased.