My mate of fifty years has left this world before me

predicting I’d never change the sheets, or even know

where to find them. Standing before the washer-dryer

the soaps all seem strange; I’ll never find the lint

that must be wheedled from a trap.

I used to drop my socks and fling them in a basket.

Yawning, half-asleep, I’d reach into a dresser drawer

for matching socks and folded underwear. Flannel pajamas

vanished in the Spring replaced by lightweight cotton nightwear.

She lined up shirts and pants and helped me choose a matching tie.

She did the shopping, cleaning, laundry and even

sprayed the evening primrose with the aura of a rainbow.

Protective of my sleep, her bountiful breasts nursed

our crying kids at night. All I did was run around

on tennis courts whenever I wasn’t working.

Mornings, she sang Portuguese Fado in the shower.

Evenings, we’d bang on kitchen pots and she’d perform,

undulating like an incarnation of a cosmic dancing Shiva.

Her sense of touch had sources in the esoteric

that were as analeptic as any healing touch at Lourdes.

And if and when I got the itch and felt the need for intimacy

all I had to do was cuddle up and we’d merge seamlessly,

smooth as the velvety sheen of drawn butter on a lobster tail.

Our souls would smile self-consciously, whispering

words of the unsayable said.

A celebrant of being present, she breathed life into my air

with a whir and whirl of joy, watching over me

like a beady-eyed benevolent white dove.

Who will fly over me now?