Each day at ten o’clock he leaves his house,
drives seven miles, then turns to go into
the county nursing home to see his spouse
who’s seated at a table with a view —
green hillsides and a garden filled with flowers.
“She slept well,” the aide says, a hopeful thing,
as night-time usually gives birth to hours
of restless labyrinthine wanderings.
He sits beside her chair and reaches out
to gently stroke her fragile vein-lined hand,
sensing that one day soon he’ll be without
this one he loves and strives to understand,
then counts the wrinkles on her aged face,
each one to him an ornament of grace.