The two of them grew old together

like gnarled grapevines


When he began to fail she kept him

living. Her twisted fingers

shaved his stubble

and then we’d have to ask her what his

winding gabble meant. She

always knew

So much so that when he died she

couldn’t bear to have him

cut away

We were wrong to let her go on holding

his life within her

expectant veins

The day she called for him, called—

her cowbird voice

lost in the gale—

we knew how wrong. We brought her in.

She sat open-eyed waiting

and then he came