The End

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.

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