Francesca Bell – Spring

for my husband, 21 years my senior

Francesca Bell

There are so many times
I could have killed you.
After 28 years of marriage—
the only contact sport
I’ve ever stuck with—
I found myself
crying this morning,
after a trip outside,
singing Happy Birthday
three times through,
just to be sure,
scrubbing despite
the sting of my split skin
as I’ve loved you
through even the rub
of the raw years.
I held my hands steady
in the water’s reassuring scald,
trying and trying
to save you.