Husband, now that the last visitor
has left his condolences and these rooms
have been tidied twice tonight
in an attempt to keep myself occupied,
grant me one final favor.
There’s no need to warn me beforehand;
I’ve left a key in your pocket.
Ever since your unexpected departure,
these rooms have felt haunted.
Never mind if at first I am speechless,
seem a bit shy and tearful.
In time, intimacy will loosen my tongue.
Please sit, take your old seat
at the table; everything is as you left it.
I will serve those cookies
you enjoyed before becoming diabetic.
Then over tea we can talk.
Go ahead, take my hand, I won’t be afraid.
Regale me with shared memories.
Let us forgive past differences, marvel at
the life we created together.
And Husband, when sleep overtakes me,
continue to speak until you are
sure that I’m dreaming, then slip away.
This final goodbye is all I ask.
Tomorrow, I will face these rooms alone.


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