I saw him before I saw her…(I believe she was holding the door.)

There was a far away look in his eyes as he shuffled his feet on the floor.


I felt a twinge of sorrow for him as he slowly labored past

Each step seemed so difficult…more challenging than the last.


I saw her next when she caught up to him and I thought how nothing could compare

with the smile on her face as she helped him to his chair.


She fixed his hair, she straightened his clothes with an ease, a tenderness…a grace

and as she tended to his every need that smile never left her face.


I did not know this couple whom I assumed were man and wife

but as I watched them endure the ravages of age I imagined younger moments in their life.


The moment hey first met, when they fell in love…when they lived in younger skin

I imagined them with friends and family…imagined all the places they had been…


A lifetime spent in love together was not difficult to surmise

I saw it in the gentleness of her touch…and in the sparkle of her eyes.


When our eyes met for a moment I saw how her smile was masking her pain

and I thought how the more her husband slips away…the more her love remains.


I believe when we happen upon one another…even momentarily in a day

from every brief encounter…we take something away.


It may be a look…a smile…a glance…a gesture from afar

that finds it’s way into our heart and reshapes who we are.


As I left my brief encounter and walked to my car in a misty rain

I thought about that moment…about how she smiled through her pain…


and though there was a hint of sadness as I drove home by the sea

it wasn’t her sadness…it was her love…I took away with me.


A love so beautiful…so everlasting…so quietly proclaimed

It made me smile when I thought of it…

knowing I’d never be the same.



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