Over years - breath in and out - she has unraveled her husbands clothes by a single thread. Woven tiny squares with bird-like hands and sewn them to her hem. They are bound together in her long, slow release of life. He lost his too soon and she is losing hers too late.
She doesn't eat the food I bring.
She doesn't see the shape of her room.
She drinks only from a bowl of her tears. The heat steals them in Summer. Winter is just as cruel. I know that the last drops will herald her departure.
I don't know how old she is or how she can still be alive. I try and bring her things that might unlock a door in her mind. Flash light from the periphery. A dragonfly in a jar. A vase of wildflowers. A honey-scented candle in the evenings.
I cannot bring her back. But I cannot leave her alone in this.
There is a tiny creature who comes to me red breasted and fine feathered.
She pecks at the dirt between the floor boards. Gets caught in the curtains - the sallow sheets of our abandoned bed that save me from the light of day. They turn this room to perpetual dusk. Time's tick is leaden. Beneath it I hear her tiny feet clicking on the wood. She is the only thing that stirs here. I don't know why she seeks company. I am no companion.
I can only cry and weave and wait...
I want for nothing else.