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The Visiting Hour

by Richard Ong

Cold steam escapes my lips.
I hear the drip of my blood, warm in spite of the cold.
I wait and listen to the sound of life escaping.
A promise of sweet release from this mortal coil.

Soon, my love, we shall be together.
Soon, I shall wait no more.
I feel my body weakening, succumbing to the cold.
Down the path of non-existence as my blood continues to flow.

Soon the veil will unravel.
Soon I shall see her again.
Through the haze I perceive an opening,
And the shadows begin to form.

Mary has never looked so beautiful,
With long, dark hair that shows the barest hint of gray.
Each year I wait on the hour of our wedding
For a glimpse of her face.

On this hour of every year she returns to our home.
She wears the same gown she did at our wedding.
She walks towards the mantelpiece and a picture
Of the two of us laughing, rolling on the snow.

Mary lifts her veil and wipes a tear from her eye.
I feel a sudden pang and will myself to touch her.
My hand passes through.
She shivers and wraps her arms around her.

Fear replaces her smile.
I withdraw my hand in guilt.
The fog regroups to seal the opening.
I curse and plead at the force that prevents our union.

My soul weakens and I stagger back.
Some say that the dead can come back to life.
If that is true, then here I stay, waiting for another year,
For the hour of my beloved wife’s return.

Copyright © 2010 by Richard Ong

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