Originally Published as Steve & Mac
North Beach Beat, Arts and Literary Edition,
Through an old sealed window,
the garden softens as daylight fades,
and in the shadows a hand still strong
caresses another that’s not.
He sits daily in a hospital chair,
Uncomfortable, yet never complaining,
surrounded by odors of life and death,
watching a part of himself move on.
Tenderly looking at Mac,
he sees the curled, taut body
leaning toward him.
Both become more peaceful,
as together, they move to
real and imagined places.
Soft words gently fall on ears
understanding intent, but not words,
and monologue becomes dialogue
as Mac’s thoughts become Steve’s words.
Opening cloudy eyes, he smiles,
and forces stiff fingers to squeeze
the hand still gently clasping his,
and both understand.
Their lives, intertwined for 40 years
still move together,
but now at different speeds.
One lingering, the other comforting.
Both wait for the separation
they know will shortly come.
Today? Tomorrow? What matter.
They’ve had each other
and always will.