A LONG POEM FROM A BRIEF ENCOUNTER

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.