in praise of my beloved
White flame, her hair, emerging from shadows,
lighting her path downhill toward water’s edge.
Wind-driven waves splash lake-side. I watch
her footsteps, not now as firm as once they were.
Burgeoning age grips her hips. Toes and heels
no longer lift in the same old way. Component
parts break down, arteries clog, arthritis worms
its stiffening way into fingers, wrists, and knees.
I recall nursery rhymes: “Jack be nimble, Jack
be quick,” but she isn’t anymore and neither
of us could jump over a candlestick. Her beauty:
inner light. Outer light, her hair, pure and white.
Her voice is still as clear as a bell, soft yet
luminous, as she picks her way on a perilous
path through wayward woods, not stumbling
yet, and still she lives, as I still live, in hopes
to see each other, until earth stops our eyes and
we can see, sense, touch, and hear no more …