When I close my eyes,
I am pulled back
to another time.
I stand there,
looking at myself
as I was,
as I had been.
He lay in bed,
his eyes half closed,
sleep long gone
but also not far behind.
He heard my approach
and he looked up at me.
I looked down at myself.
“I didn’t think you’d show.”
“I’m sorry. I forgot what day it was.”
I told him.
He looked at me and I could see into his eyes,
I could well remember the fear he felt,
could even taste it in the air.
A tear slid down his face.
I followed it as it fell from his eye
and slid down his face,
finding its way through his sideburns.
“You told me you wouldn’t forget again.”
I sit down beside him and take his hand
as I wish someone had done
all those years ago.
I wiped his brow,
trying to wipe away the fear
that filled every inch of myself then.
“You won’t believe me, but there are so many great things to come.”
I was not surprised
when tears began to slide
from my own eyes.
“I don’t believe you. I have no idea what’s wrong with me. I think it’s bad.”
He said, fear making his voice shake.
“You won’t believe me,”
I said again,
“But it will get better. It will get worse before it does, though.”
I tried to instill some of the peace I felt,
tried to push it from myself into him,
but of course I couldn’t.
Even knowing what would come,
“You will have to be brave. You will have to be strong.”
I said to him.
“I don’t know how anymore.”
His voice had taken on a wistful quality.
“I have lost my way with words. I have lost everything.”
“Will they ever come back?”
I nodded vigorously,
trying to smile while more tears
slid from my eyes.
“Yes. They will come back. Everything will and after a time, it will be better than it was before.”
“Do you promise?”
“I do. But you must promise me something.”
“There will come a time when the world around you will grow so dark that you can’t see out of the shadows. You will want to quit.”
I told him.
“It will get so much better.”
He nodded, giving me a weak smile.
“Okay, I promise.”
I said. I took his hand in mine again, squeezed it.
His eyes opened and I looked down into my own gaze.
“It’s okay if you forget. I know I told you to remember me, but you can let me go, now.”
Tears slid from my eyes
and they sparkled like diamonds
in the half-light of the room.
From the realm outside of my eyes,
I can hear my husband calling to me,
telling me to wake.
“It’s okay. You can go now.”
I stand and lean down.
I press my lips against his forehead.
I tell him.
“Thank you for not quitting. You have no idea how great it will be.”
As the light of the present day
begins to filter in to the past,
I look back once more and see him,
and there is the smallest of smiles
upon his lips.
When I open my eyes,
I let him go
and look out towards
what the future will