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Not only sad, depressing. So depressing that it is now Sunday morning and I did not even clean the house...
You are close at my side in bed
where you've lain nearly every nightfor the last 14 years
when I open my eyes you are, as ever looking into mine

I get up and we pace apart into the bathroom
morning ablutions underway
I hug you and kiss the top of your head
the way I've done each of the mornings following night

and go to the kitchen to arrange your breakfast
but you barely touch it

you are old... now... and dying quickly
and do not eat your food
each day the flesh melts from your bones
as you walk through the habits of your day
and I mine

I scrub the floors, wash the mats, launder
afghans and guest towels
I vacuum the carpet and dust the piano and guitar.
meanwhile you slowly move outdoors to
find a place to snooze in the morning sun

I rinse the mirrors, water the garden
cut herbs to place in the dryers with the linens,
mend a blouse whose hem has come loose,
and stop to speak and stroke your head and face
as I conduct the rituals that have defined our life together
and think about the fact that you are leaving soon.

I pick out a new set of CD's to play on the stero
Annie Lennox's Medusa
It begins "No more I love yous"

I gather the bills and order them to be paid,
take out the trash, rinse the wastebaskets
and replace the liners.
The house is rife with pine and lemon scents
and the morning sunshine- and reminders of your presence.

I open the windows, iron the washing,
put away the suitcase I recently used to travel to Spain and wipe down the kitchen counters
I hand wash the delicate beaded gauze blouse that my eldest daughter covets and reminds me
"Don't put that in the washing Machine Mom,
I want it when you get tired of it."

You have been with me nearly as long as my children have- no one else has lived with me longer.
I go round with a scrub brush and a pail of soapy water
to scrub the spots where you've gotten sick on the carpet

Your hair looks unkempt and matted- so I've shaved it
nearly all off for you- you're cooler in the summertime anyway.

I look at your portrait on the bedroom wall
My mother did from a photograph of you
in healthier, more vital times.

Still you love me and are loving. We pass each other
you and i,
me doing the emotional shorthand of maintaining what I love- and you walking slowly and unsteadily- but always interested in my comings and goings.

Up and down the cement steps-
I prepare hardcooked eggs
and boiled potatos for lunch. The stereo plays Michael
Jackson "The Way You Make Me Feel"

but nothing I do- nothing that i can maintain
compensates for knowing that you are dying
your leave-taking is inevitable

And Woody, I am so going to miss you when you are gone

Moon, missing her good friend and kitty already

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