The Loss of Intimacy

She bustles in, weighed down with his clean underwear,
pyjamas, barley water and boiled sweets,
his reading glasses, now repaired,
holding back wisps of her grey hair.
She has to catch the bus at the same time every day
and sit for hours, making repetitive small-talk
with a man who doesn’t know her name,
has forgotten, in his sickness, vows
and promises they made in health.
He struggles to identify her, he’s swearing,
and she can’t fit into the dress that she was wearing
in the framed photo on the bed-side cabinet.
She clings white-knuckled to what they had,
a broken-hearted, lonely wife
longing for the intimacy of their bed
and the comfort of a once-shared life.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Lost Intimacy

Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

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52 thoughts on “The Loss of Intimacy

  1. Oh lordy, this one hit me in the gut. The long goodbye. So painful to lose those we love long before they are gone. The pain is exquisite. Your words are eloquent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you posted this, because I meant to read it and then somehow skipped it. I love all the detail in the first half which gave me a crystal clear picture of the reality behind the feelings expressed in the second half, like I was watching a movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Loss of Intimacy ——-your title speaks so well to your words. This is an intimate picture of end-of-life-days for far too many. And yet there’s a gentleness here that is still shared in the touching…the holding of hands. That connection.
    A beautiful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry, unexpected visitors last night have made me rather late in responding to your piece. But really felt the poignancy you skilfully conjured here…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like reading this as if it’s about a married couple in their 30s or 40s. Sometimes it’s not that different. I have lived a marriage like this. Thankfully we found our way to the other side of it, destroying the sickness and recovering, remembering each other again. But it’s hard to take care of someone who acts like they don’t give a flip about who you are, and that can happen at any age.

    Excellent poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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