Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This is Where We Lived

This is where we’d sleep and on weekends,
you’d call, “Is my honey ready for coffee?”
You’d bring my mug and I would read in bed.

This is where you learned to hold me
and just let me cry in your arms on your shoulder
at this one spot in the kitchen.

This is where we’d fight, me upstairs,
you coming up and down to squabble like pecking chickens
until you said, “Are we done?” And we would be.

This is where we had Gilbert with us;
the extra bedroom turned into his, with pet rats and hamsters.

This is where you fell and then fell asleep,
too exhausted to get up into bed the day we learned the end was near
and Hospice was coming.

This is where you went crazy and threw your pills at me,
telling me you would punch me in the face,
telling me to leave you alone, “you fucking bitch”.

This is where I climbed onto the bed and into your arms
after you told me
“Quicker is better…for you.”

This is the chair where I’d sit and look over at you,
your bald head down, a beanie on to keep it warm.
You’d say, “I have to go lie down.” But I knew what you really wanted
was to stay and sit with me, just like we always did.

This is where I would find you some mornings,
when you had been unable to sleep because of the steroids,
puttering in the garage, painting things,
throwing out books you loved,
saying, “Red is coming.”

This is where you went to cut back the Juniper,
for some reason that was not clear to anyone but you.
You fell and couldn’t get up. 
Your clothes wet and dirty, you didn’t care,
and insisted you could go to San Francisco.

This is where I sat and sobbed when the ambulance and police came.
In the very worst of psychosis, you had burned lasagna
to a blackened brick, had left the stove burner on.
And where the kind paramedic tried to reassure me that I was doing the right thing.
You kept saying that I was the crazy one and you hadn’t burned anything.
You looked at me with hatred.

This is where I found the expensive lavender body wash and
lotion I loved
and asked if you’d bought it for me. 
You said you didn’t know.

This is where I put the baby monitor so I could hear you,
and listened one morning to Gilbert giving you your medications,
talking to you so sweetly.

This is where you accused me of giving you a concussion
when I tired to pull you up in the hospital bed;
where you had your last good day and Paul set up the TV.
We laughed and ate ice cream.

This is where I sat with your still warm body,
not wanting to believe you were finally gone.  Three hours
waiting for the Hospice nurse to come to pronounce you dead.
Where I waited for the mortuary to come and take your body.
Where they couldn’t fit the gurney and had to drag you
out of the bedroom.

This is where I would hold you in the mornings to give you warmth.
And where you left me, taking the energy with you;
the porch light burst, the car battery dead and my heart shattered.

And now I am in a new home, missing you
just as much as always. 

September 11, 2012

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