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LOVE POEM TO MY HUSBAND OF THIRTY-ONE YEARS

 I watch you walk up our front path, 
the entire right side of your body, 
stiff and unbending, your leg, 
dragging on the ground, 
your arm not moving.
Six different times you ask me the date of our daughter's wedding, seem surprised each time, forget who called, though you can name obscure desert animals, and every detail of events that took place in 3 B.
C.
You complain now of pain in your muscles, of swimming at the Y where a 76 year old man tells you you swim too slowly.
I imagine a world in which you cannot move.
Most days, I force myself to look only into the past; remember you, singing and playing your guitar: "Black, black is the color of my true love's hair," you sang, and each time you came into a room how my love for you caught in my throat, how handsome you were, how strong and muscular, how the sun lit your blond hair.
Now I pretend not to notice the trouble you have buttoning your shirt, and yes, I am terrified and no, I cannot tell you.
The future is a murky lake.
I am afraid of the monsters who wait just below its surface.
Even in our mahogany bed, I am not safe.
Each day, I swim toward everything I didn't want to know.
Copyright © 1997 by Maria Mazziotti Gillan, all rights reserved.

Poem by Maria Mazziotti Gillan
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