Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vital Signs

Sleep comes late to my eyes
most nights if at all. Sometimes in
the quietness of the dark between
the sounds of my child’s breath
a voice asks me “Do you remember
the last time you were lovingly touched ?”
I choke back tears and say “Yes”
She asks me “When was that ?”
“Seven years ago and that was late”
“What about since ?” she asks again
“Never since” I say, the heart heaving
with pain. “Never since” I repeat.
The years pass me by. She says “Yes”
like she hears me. “Do you miss that
loving touch ?” she asks
“So much that I mistake it for life” I say
I want her to tell me I will
Live and be loved again. She fades
away like night melting to dawn.
I hear my child breathing and birdsong
These are signs of life I tell myself.
I hear her whisper one last time
“Pray to life for love to return”

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