She walked through the woods remembering his face
ashen and grey against the pillow.
He had been taken by the sweeping sickness
that had engulfed her land,taken so swiftly
that she had not had time to reach him.
The pain of her loss had been unbearable
and she had roamed the house, striking out
in rage and grief at anyone who came close.
The madness had left her eventually,
left her alone and bereft of her love.
That was many years ago now,
but still his face haunted her,
his eyes accusing and filled with
the horror of her absence, the terror
that he must face alone the time of his death.
It never left her, this guilt she carried.
Many had consoled her, told her that she
was not blame,that it was not her fault.
She knew better,she remembered telling him one dreadful
storm filled night, that she would always be there.
She shook her head free of the memories,
she was old now and it was so long ago,
she would be welcomed when she left this earth.
Absolved of this guilt that had consumed her life.
She saw the tree as she entered the clearing.
His treee, his favorite place.
Whenever he was troubled or scared
she would find him there,curled up beneath the boughs.
It was his haven, his place of safe keeping.
Glancing around she felt again,as she always did
his presence near to her, tantalisingly close.
She walked to the tree and sat down,
resting her back against the trunk,
letting the sunlight warm her face.
Slowly as she sat there, eyes closed and silent.
He came to her as if in a dream,
or perhaps she was dreaming, she did not know
or care,she only knew he was before her,
that her love was with her once more .
Tears streamed from her eyes and her throat burned
as he touched her face,stroked her hair.
A smile touching his lips as he gazed into her eyes.
Slowly he knelt before her and lay back,
resting his head on her lap.
Happiness swept through her like fire,
he was forgiving her, letting her know
that it was not her fault that he had died alone.
Her hand traced the features she loved more than life
and her lips met his in an endless kiss.
The night was dark when the villagers found her.
She was sitting in a clearing, lying next to a tree.
The moonlight illuminated her in its silvery rays
and in its bathing light they saw what they had
not seen in decades. She was smiling, in death
she was smiling.
12 , December 1999
Copyright 2013 ACB