Yet another layer of love for my sweetie and I :) I hope yours was full of heart and soul :)
Back Surgery, Valentine’s Day
When your beloved has back surgery
on Valentine’s Day
and looks at you while being wheeled off
as if he might never see you again,
you can’t show worry,
you are as clear as the bag of saline
filling an IV drip in his arm
until you are in the waiting room
where you wipe your tears.
You have a greeting card for him
a drawing of a man lifting a woman
under an umbrella, it is raining hearts.
You don’t fill it out, not because he can’t lift you
but rather you talk to other couples
and are touched by their stories,
you like to watch as people check in
at reception and listen to the solemn gravity
when the patient’s companions answer,
I will be here, I am his wife
or I am her partner, I will be staying.
When there were once neighbors to visit,
projects to tackle, too much to do,
now your schedule revolves around sleep and eating,
elimination and ice pack rotation.
It is like having a newborn again,
you both stay in pajamas
and he must be so careful,
sitting and turning, laying down,
each a minor miracle.
He watches from the couch as you do yoga.
Your spine is stiff yet comparably serpentine,
you stretch hoping you can help him,
imagine as you bend,
your discs are disco balls of light
infusing him with healing.
He asks you to take off his socks
with tinges of shame.
You apologize for your awkwardness
when the heel won’t pull smoothly.
You reminisce, anchoring his wellness
remember when we hiked to the hot springs,
made love in the dark steaming water.
You stop making love for a time
and sleeping in the same bed.
Pain becomes the portal
to a place where every easement
is celebrated, a hand on a forehead,
a movie shared on a computer,
laughter at an actor’s antics.
You look toward simpler things,
but with the same enthusiasm
you daydreamed about grandeur
like visits to Greek beaches and Italian ski resorts.
Perhaps next week if I am better we can go to
the Woodsman for dinner he offers.
Yes, you smile, that would be nice,
nice becomes more than enough.
I’ll put on a nice dress.