Again tonight I watch him, here in this cool, antiseptic room.
I try to sleep, but nurses come and go
And the intercom rouses me as soon as I start to doze.
My bones and muscles ache as I scoot my chair nearer him.
The rasping of his dusty lungs constricts me, and I too labor to breathe.
I reach out to stroke his weathered, wrinkled face,
And recall his consoling words when I first noticed creases of my own--
Just more delightful crevices for him to enjoy, he said.
Gently, so as not to disturb him, I tug at the corners of his covers.
Our own were never so tight--how we played beneath them, how we loved.
The blankets are loose now, and my hand finds its way beneath them.
It travels across his chest and down his body, nestling in its familiar home.
He stirs at my touch, and a slight smile graces his face.
We will not be one tonight, but he will be comforted--
And we will remember.
Tina Rae CollinsReturn to Poetry