Long Goodbye – Tender Touch – Fearful Heart
The first part as a background to this work. The poem follows, entitled: Long Goodbye. Read it your way, background or poem first. I welcome your thoughts.
“Oh how wrong we were to think immortality meant never dying” Gerard Way
It comes to us all: sometimes in an instant and for others in a dragged out trail, or should that be trial?
The visit to my doctor was routine for a man my age. No sweat.
Parked near the Surgery (doctor’s office), fiddling with my phone, I noticed a car arrive with an older couple.
They took time leaving their car and seemed disengaged, in a world of their own. Their aloofness reminded me of people travelling in an invisible, private bubble on the Tube in London.
Their gentle progress was fragile and, once inside, the delicacy remained. Wife sat stiff, brave. Husband grabbed a magazine and studied. When Wife was called, Husband continued to study his journal. As Wife passed him, Husband reached out for swift, sure, support. They touched hands like a butterfly brushes a windblown flower. This was a private, fleeting yet powerful gesture noticed by me and, doubtless, God.
I let my attention wander and came back to Husband a few minutes later. He gazed at a page. he wasn’t reading … mind not there. When Wife returned they rose, rebooked and left with a slow step. I sat moved, thoughtful and felt the stirring of a poem. Here it is …
Circumspect they leave their car
Unsteady feet, attending hands
Heads close as tango dancers
Bright sun shares kisses never felt
In a fog of mutual support
Their unrushed dance well-timed
One hand grips rail, her other held
Slow steps rise to fateful door
Shoulders meet to balance
I follow in the wake of pain
And sit nearby aware, empathic
No talk fills their waiting
There he sits with magazine
Eyes stare focused on his lap
Reading not an inky word
The doctor comes and calls a name
She stands slow, when erect moves off
His strong help barely glimps’d
But I saw subtle hands connect
A low five of support, such depth
Years of love in a single touch
How many years their love withstood
Cruel slings and arrows, rocks and stones
Now entr’ng life’s departure lounge
For just a mo’ our eyes connect
Tendrils of fear escape control
And withdraw, fast as pounding heart
A brittle smile, a nod … alone
A caring head drops to stare at … nothing
He waits her soft return
She’s back, a new appointment made
Ginger steps move away, in hope
Or resignation, I cannot say
© Mac Logan