An Affectionate Moment

The woman’s washing breakfast dishes at the sink.
Her husband comes in wanting more coffee to drink.
His arms encircle her waist; her ear he nibbles.
Without hesitation, without thinking, she quibbles…

…She had no reason to think, no earthly way to know
that she’d relive this moment a thousand times or so,
always with regret…such regret…never-ending regret.
They had a lifetime to share. He was too young to die yet.

How could she ever have guessed: That soon she’d yearn
for his arms around her waist? That her lips would burn
for the sweet taste of his kisses? That longing for his touch,
she’d cry through long nights? That she could hurt so much?

If only she had known that shortly, on his way to Wal-Mart,
he’d encounter an elderly lady whose stalled car wouldn’t start,
stranding her midst brisk traffic. Of course, her man would try
to help, leading to the tragic accident in which he would die.

Had she but known the future, what that day would bring,
then this last embrace would have caused her heart to sing.
Instead, “Your interrupting my work is one of my pet peeves.
Why do you bother me when I am busy?” He sighs; he leaves...

Harry Edward Gilleland      12.20.03