Warm bread, full of taste and texture with bits of raisin – soft, sweet and moist –
Should draw me from my melancholy and fill me with satisfaction and the warmth of home,
But without you here to hear me talk about it, my words go out into emptiness and the joy of warm bread eludes me.
Bread alone is mere food, a fuel, a biological necessity,
And I sit here alone, taste-dulled, eating without joy only what I must – a simple animal act.
* * *
So much of what I am, I am for you.
So much of what I do, I do for your response.
I am disciplined so you will think me so.
My life is principled in the hope I will make you proud.
When you are gone, I shrink and decay to common stuff.
The bed goes unmade; exercise stops; I never dine: I only eat.
* * *
One would think that after three decades together, a few days apart would make no difference.
Five days out of ten thousand should pass with no more notice than a sudden puff of wind that inexplicably riffles to life a patch of calm lake on a summer’s day.
But it is not so.
Each day without you is cold, flat, gray, featureless – not calm, just lifeless.
* * *
I look forward to your return and play our meeting over in my mind.
I arrive early just in case of I-know-not-what, perhaps only because I cannot stay away any longer.
While still in the crush of exiting passengers, your eyes scan the waiting crowd to find me.
You smile as we see each other.
A kiss, a hug, your bags given to me, and you are home.
* * *
To those looking on, accustomed as they are to the sensationalism of tube and screen, our reunion must seem tepid and bland – the routine of a long-married couple rehearsed countless times before.
But what they don’t see is that you are home.
A wind stirs the lake’s gray surface to life; the clouds part before the sun.
You are home,
And I will again eat warm bread with joy.