My sweet husband
has laid his head next to mine for 22 years.

You’re a work of art,
he said when we awoke in Florence—
once so young, our eyes full of morning sun.
The art of the Uffizi had nothing on me.

I got sick. My husband, kind in heart,
pushed a broken wheelchair.
Still pregnancy was joy.
Mom quilted excitement in primary colors.

Our Joshua arrived.
We sunbathed between his lemon walls,
crawled his deep blue carpet.
We found toys at home in corners,
stacked boxes of boxes and lids.

Still my husband, full of grace,
tolerated my thirties when I took up smoking.
My hair spread stale on the pillow.

Then when he, so full of strength, deployed,
I ran wild and lost,
filled my soul with emptiness.

I quit all that, but my spirit is spent.
Age is a jerk, my beauty is spent,
And spread on the pillow,
my hair lies full of gray.