No Whisper In Time
He was embattled – and losing – his marital war.
Meeting a new she, he forgot his melancholy.
His heart did not beat-out measured warnings or despair:
No thought to being distant; forgot to be wary.
She had been dressing old wounds in colorful clothing.
The breeze did not whisper of what the future would hold.
Long ago laid to rest; rusted armor, bruised arrow.
Defenseless were they to each other, the truth be told.
Theirs was a late love story of new second chances.
His shroud of misery lifted to blinding brightness
of the weightless crystal clarity of her daylight.
Where once he worked to shuffle, his feet now danced in joy.
She hummed the love tune to their dance; to his spin and glide.
Saw with him the beauty in the simplest of design.
She did not hear the whisper of what would come in time.
He did not feel the heartstrings of she, he left behind.
En route to his escape he had trod her underfoot.
Through battle and madness she had tried to hold on fast.
Left with the tattered remnants of what had been her heart
She gasped for air, drew in breath, let sanity depart.
In time she faded further away from her old life.
Became a tear-stained shadow, one more lost lonely soul.
He pushed away the memories; lived this new life free:
Did not hear the whispered sob of what would never be.
Through the passage of the years, his second love stayed true.
Her heart, which rang on finding him, filled his life with song.
The battle wounds, once ugly, had lifted from their skin.
Fit together comfortably as age came creeping in.
He never felt the weight of guilt, gave to it no thought.
Did not hear it whisper in his heart when he had ought.
When they made their love-plans to retire quietly,
They did not hear the whisper, nor darkness did they see.
He traveled to and from the place they called their “Last Home”.
He moved pieces of their lives; she stayed behind to pack.
He was looking forward, which was never his great strength.
To spending all his days with her, loving her at length.
Awaiting long, sweet kisses, late mornings, sleepy smiles.
Things put off ‘til later when his life had moved too fast.
He’d pluck her wild flowers from the grounds ’round their new home
Promised her tomorrows to spend together; alone.
Returning to the old home, his last trip by himself,
Thought he heard a whisper of her love song in his ear.
Was it just the warmed cicadas singing in the night?
Shook off a chill that crawled on him, wiped away the fear.
When he returned, the last load would be packed and off they’d go.
Would not sleep for one more night in the place they’d called home.
He’d get them on the road; they could stop along the way.
He never heard her whisper the last words she would say.
He found where she had fallen, so cold and all alone.
His heartbeat screaming in his ears, “How could she be gone?”
She was everything he lived for, filled his life with song.
And for one fleeting moment, thought of the one he’d wronged.
He’d never heard a whisper in time to hold her near.
Would never know the future with She, he held so dear.
The promise of tomorrows dried up and disappeared.
Could not survive the sorrow: would not out live the year.
It’s for us to wonder at the scales that weigh our lives.
What was won and what was lost, to balance that device.
Time will pass and judgments wear the cloak of relevance.
Listen for her last whisper, “I love you so.”, she chants.
Lin Cava © 3/29/07 A Note: Each line has 13 syllables/beats, though some are inclusive of words that can commonly contain more or less than as used here.
This is a poem based upon truth. There is little license taken. We were coworkers and friends, the man in the poem and I. I never met his first wife, but one of my friends knew her well. She broke down when the divorce took place, and it took her many years to recover. He was never happier in his lifetime than when he was with the woman in the poem. It is sad for what it is, but from another point of view, the first wife sees it as “poetic justice”.