Beautiful Decay

A slow blink and a subtle glimmering hint of a smile.

Look at my beautiful wife.

She did not see the way I look at her.

Each wrinkle a moment past
I would not want her to forget.
the joyful seconds
and agonizing hours
etched gently into her ivory flesh
starting with the first glance across a smoky room.
Carved carefully and slowly
through all the smiles and laughs, shouts and tears.
My beautiful wife,
a sculpted perfection of time.

Brown hair once pulled back into a coif
now unkempt strands of delicate silver chains.
Glasses resembling magnifying lenses attempt to mask
her dark eyes more concealing than space.
The same hue of red adorning her lips
from 60 years past on our first kiss.
Only 15 then, married months later
sealed from that same kiss.
Me in my army uniform, her in a suit,
a wedding photograph engraved in my mind.

I am the only person whom she still remembers.
Our daughters, our son,
their children and spouses
are now only strangers
whom she accuses of stealing money from her on visits.
Dishes once spotless
now sit in cabinets recently washed
more filthy than before they touched water.
answering questions with rambling unrelated notions
is more expected than logical replies.
Attention quickly lost as she escapes inside herself.

A change in mind so leisurely we hardly noticed.

But when she sees me, she still knows me,
and says i love you.