'Till the End

Age spots your hands and veins line

your wrists, and your crow-feet’d eyes

lie smooth against silk. I smile ‘round

teeth that have slumped and have stained,

but to do it all over, I’d do it again.


I remember the fights, the petty and serious,

ones where we laughed and ones where we cried.

I remember the jabs we tossed without care,

the hurt deep within and explosions of rage.


I remember the trust we built over time,

the reasons we stayed and the reasons we tried.

I remember the gift of forgiveness we shared

beneath leaky roofs and gathering clouds.


I remember when money slipped softly away,

when we haggled and scraped and came closer still.

I remember the cries of grief that we gave

when the child was too soon, and we paid for her grave.


We traced all the scars and followed the lines

to the roots of our love, and there we took hold.

We harmonized so imperfectly,

but still we sang ‘till the curtain came down.


It isn’t easy, especially now,

but sometimes it’s worth it to have and to hold,

to treasure and keep ‘till death do you part,

‘till wood and ‘till earth close over that half

of your singing and grieving still-beating heart.


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