Just This Once
She places her hand on his head,
The palm resting lightly on the temple,
And for a moment he wonders if it’s possible
That he is hallucinating. He closes his eyes.
She has always loved him, she whispers,
But all the words in the world
Cannot keep him from fading away.
He feels he is falling, into a whirl
Wind, and he longs for her to stay.
Never let go, he begs of her.
It’s something in the way
She leans over him to ease
His pain and his suffering, as if
Her only wish in life were to please,
Not upbraid him. Why, he asks,
Is she not always so kind and
So gentle. But it’s like a mask
She wears, for just this once.