"The Nursing Home"
You had no better choice.
To keep your beloved at home would wreck your strength.
To hire help day and night would wreck your purse.
Too stable for the hospital, too sick for home ‒
what choice remained?
You mourn your shredded hope,
your mutual longing not to place each other there.
Yet if the roles were switched,
you’d be behind that falsely cheery door,
because your loved one could not carry you.
You did not betray;
you only bowed to winter,
knowing that these snows don’t lead to spring.
Yes, nursing happens,
morning, evening, colored pills in paper cups.
Yes, it’s home,
if waking, eating, waiting, sleeping, make it so.
They never will.
Home is the life you shared, your long duet.
You share it still in moments when eyes meet,
when fingers touch,
when hearts remember sweeter days.
You’ve chosen to partake,
to turn your face and not your back toward the storm.
No matter if sunlit flakes drift gently down,
or blizzards cruelly freeze and cut,
you’ll stay, just as you’ve always stayed.
While time remains, you’ll huddle close,
you and your love,
one with the other,
© Suzanne Werkema