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Despair

The very end of autumn--
The last fine day of the year
Spent in play, in the park
In unseasonable warmth

It was just we two
Me and you
Racing up the old hill,
Frolicking in the fallen leaves

I was tall, but you were taller--
I was strong, but you were stronger--
I ran beside you as you walked
Five steps of mine accomplished in only one of yours

When I couldn’t reach
You picked me up
Up on your shoulders
And lifted me onto the swing

The sun dropped low in the sky
We went up on the hill to see it set
And when I couldn’t see, you raised me
High above your head, as night fell

The very end of autumn--
The days are decent, but you haven’t enjoyed them
Spent in hospice, in your home
In filth and dust and loneliness

It is just we two
Me and you
Apart despite proximity,
Speaking only when necessary

You were tall, but are no longer--
You were strong, but I’m now stronger
We never walk together
You can’t--I push your wheelchair

When you need
I pick you up
Straining my back
To carry you to bath or bed

The sun drops low every dusk
I cannot cart your wheelchair up the hill
So long ago, we loved to watch together
But now neither of us care





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