...inspired by 'Cul-De-Sac' by Allen Tate
The golden sheen had turned to rust,
the laughter to a pile of rags,
the joy to ghostly lamentations,
how the weighted second drags.
Blind and deaf to consecration,
weak the beatings of the heart,
barren now what once was fertile,
love's become a dying art.
The chasm of their lives together
broadens with each passing day,
echoes barely audible
now rattle in a death-mask play.
He spends his time in retrospection,
trying to ignite the flame,
all the tinder is but ashes,
all their tenderness a game.
Passing in the hallway, they will
glance away in silent grief,
post-it notes and conversations
miss their mark, the practised thief.
He concerns himself with models,
crafting planes no one will see,
for an unborn son or daughter,
generations not to be.
Would a child have made a difference?
(would that he were strong and able),
tiny sneakers, matching socks,
another place to set at table.
Living with an empty feeling,
she tries not to blame or doubt,
busies with the darning, dusting,
looking for a quick way out.
Finances keep them together,
stocks and bonds, annuities,
the only glue that holds the airplane,
slim and thin prosperities.
Fifty years, and inching slowly,
they will not be One with God,
separate, they make arrangements,
he cremated, she to sod.
There was happiness and laughter,
lo, those many years ago,
back before they wanted children,
the physician told them no.
They are dead and gone, I'll warrant,
separate, and in repose,
Heaven opened, they crossed inward,
What they said? God only knows.