The Ritual of Leaving.
The usual goodbye routine,
I pack, guilt riven
her brave face as the carer serves her breakfast.
An hour later, the food un-eaten on the tray.
Seeing her there, helpless,
no longer able to fulfil our special ritual,
she at the window
waving till out of sight…
only enhances the pain.
Leaning over to kiss pure white hair
on the head of a valiant soul
who has weathered ninety one winters.
is of the eviscerating kind.
That precious frame, slight now.
Feeling her warm scalp under my lips
as I hold her hand…
Times stands still.
So what is life and death?
What is hello and goodbye?
Only a greeting or farewell
from one place to another.
We understand that
and so we treasure it
but still we struggle…
There is no place that love does not inhabit
there is no state that comfort cannot be found.
Even in the exchanges of the most futile kind,
love is there and will fill the gaps.
When the heart is over-burdened and heavy
with unspoken emotion,
In all things, and in the eyes
love will find a way.
Nevertheless, I drive away