as hers now

death has marked him

as hers now

a thin fine tattoo veil

drawn across that pale face

weighty enough

to pull down eyelids

corners of lips

create cant of eye

to distinguish what was

from what is now

& I do not tell him this

he knows

we all know

but only he can carry the burden

will bear until the end

we are forever onlookers

until she comes for us

too

& how will they ever know

if you do not tell them?

but you no longer wish

to torture them with your truth

the tawdry sordid solid details

of misery inflicted

by those who should know better

but somehow just don’t

or maybe cannot do more than this

& so your pain becomes solitary

though you bleed a little here & there

messing up the furniture of another’s life

taking too much responsibility

for pain in others

share they shout in such circles

though you watch their eyes glaze

their shrouds come over to protect themselves

& why should they not?

this is your burden mr.

better you get used to it

there tight across your shoulders

I went to see the woman

travelled many hours

I went to see the woman

who wants me to call her

Mother

fixed the odd jobs

painted the fence

grouting between the tiles

fixing locks here & there

& later as we sat together to eat

she asked all quiet

had I seen her silver bowl?

the one with the blue glass

it was her mothers

an antique piece

I shrug say no can’t say I have

only

she says softly

I haven’t seen it

since last you were here

& our supper continues on in silence

as I wonder why I came

why I care

to do the things need doing for her

my Father

is ten years gone now

would he want me

to continue on with this?

or would he accept

the time has come for me

to let this burden go