Wailing, bearing flowers
and collapsing to her knees,
her hot tears fall upon me—

But I remain unmoved,
stone-faced, above it all—
her face etched with grief
and mine with the years,
weathered with past life—

Gently she touches my face
and presents me the flowers—
I’ve seen her cry many times
but it is my nature to be
rough and cold, grounded
in reality I know nothing else—

Still she keeps coming back to me
and though I cannot give her love
I will always guard hers.

—Terri Guillemets