Playfully, we spoke the words, “until death do us part,”
She laughed, and her smile tugged at my heart,
Will you love me in sickness and in health, she asked,
Yes, my love, will you love me in poverty and in wealth?
Of course, she said, her head tilted to one side,
I’ll love you, you know, beyond the end of time;
She turned her head and coughed, her body wracked with pain,
Her long black hair hung well below her waist; outside, it rained.
She said, will you walk beside me through all that life may bring?
When I’m tired, hurt, and angry will you wait until I sing?
I will, my love, if you understand the silence behind my back,
The shoulder shrugs, the hard cold stares, the love I seem to lack;
Yes, I’ll be there when your shoulders bow beneath the weight of the world,
I’ll stand beside you, heart to heart, as our hopes and dreams unfurl.
She gasped for breath then, her white face paled in the darkness,
Her green eyes dimmed, I turned my head, my eyes a misty mess.
I’m tired, my love, her voice a raspy whisper, I must lie down,
Her face was drawn, forehead beaded with sweat, I helped her with her gown,
So tiny and frail, lighter than a feather, she barely touched the bed,
I caressed her cheeks; next to her lips her pillow dotted red,
I kissed her gently and tucked her in, but she stopped me with a touch,
Hold me, my love, pick me up and hold me, my strength is not enough;
I held her close, fingers ‘twined in mine, I cried in the darkness of our room,
I whispered in her ear, until death do us part; I had not known we would part so soon.