Ninety years since his birth and the old man thinks of his life. In many ways, living blemished his heart; still, he holds no malice. His body, once strong and powerful, is broken and tired. Years ago, vessels burst inside his eyes, he sees only shadows. The old man hears acutely; and his ability to identify voices, quite good.
The hands remain strong and powerful, able to give a hardy handshake or delicately caress a flower. The knees, sickened by osteoarthritis, are puffy and inflamed; his health declining, life ebbs away. Awakening him, soft hands touch his face, a kiss to his cheek.
“It’s been a long time, Xavier.” “I heard of your illness and wanted to visit you.” The woman’s tone, her touch, her closeness seems as memorable curiosity. “I am married now, and have four children.” “Do you remember me?” Xavier’s brow bends, “Who are you, how do I know you?” “I see only shadows.” Leaning closer, the woman says, “We once worked together, a long time ago.” “When…where?”
Xavier hears nothing and then recognizable words. Written about thirty years ago, the words and phrases, the metaphors, the style, his; a poem written for someone special, someone he loved.-“D’na?” “Is it really you?”
Although from the shadows, her eyes touch him; her smile warms him-the ravages of death nearby-holding him, shielding him from fate, D’na’s tears slide down Xavier’s cheek. “Yes, yes.” “I have missed you, D.” “I have missed you terribly.” For long moments they tremble.
“I’m sorry, Zavier.” “I should have talked more about it.” “That was a long time ago, and I never blamed you. We loved each other, things and people got in the way. Sometimes, even loving is too difficult.” “I know,” she sadly agrees, “you’re right.”
“Tell me about your children.” The weary man reclines, her lovely voice relaxes him. D’na returns to the beginning, her life and family clearly before him. She speaks of marriage, husband, job, pregnancy and excitement; but, does she truly know happiness. D’na sketches the faces of her children and a mother’s impregnable love-somehow, Xavier stares beyond the shadows, blue eyes, greying blond hair, lithe, and a lovely face-and her hands, Xavier always loved her hands-gorgeous. Customarily, D’na’s hands rest inside his, sweetly, she leans forward.
Still, Zavier’s kiss electrifies the woman-his lifeless body collapses in her arms-even after thirty years, she could not talk more about it; she could not tell him about Bobby.
Copyright©2014 Delbert H. Rhodes