Breaking My Husband’s Fall
My husband’s eyes
have dimmed in question,
searching to understand
his body’s decline.
He follows me
from room to room,
wraps himself in the safety of our years,
trusts that I can lead us into night.
I remember how we traveled here before
with ice on our wings, holding
gray shades of hope for our young son.
We landed on smooth ground.
There is a sharpness,
an extreme cut of light.
I know the thin skin of time.
I feel it too, desperate to love him kinder.
Let me move in closer
rub my cheek against his beard,
point to the privacy of wind
moving this storm to the North.
I pray, watching my husband sleep–
his arm at rest above his head,
a prayer, in our ritual of pistachios, a glass of wine,
while I chop onions for dinner.
I pray to these years of knowing–
his words I need
when my shoulders slip down,
the quiet it takes for me to recover.
I pray to stains of harsh words
scrubbed into patterns of forgiveness,
to the space we give in this married love
to become old and ordinary.
There’s a prayer in the rumble
of our garage door telling me he is home,
a prayer, in the sound of his footsteps
on the stairs.
© Jennie Linthorst
Jennie Linthorst’s poetry has appeared in Bluestem, Edison Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Forge, Kaleidoscope, Literary Mama, Sanskrit Literary Arts Magazine, and Hopeful Parents. Jennie has published two books of poems, Silver Girl (2013) and Autism Disrupted: A Mother’s Journey of Hope (2011), with Cardinal House Publishing. Jennie is the founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry where she works with individuals exploring their personal histories through reading and writing poetry. She is on the faculty of UCLA Arts & Healing and has presented workshops at the Los Angeles Expressive Arts Summit, The California Center for Creative Renewal, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, UC Irvine Extension, the University of Santa Monica, and the National Association for Poetry Therapy. Jennie has a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, certification in poetry therapy from the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy, and a BA from Skidmore College. More information can be found on her website at www.lifespeakspoetrytherapy.com.