The shock was solid as a punch
That left me breathless, faint, unmanned;
So obviously lost that chair and water came
And it was I – so very briefly – nursed
Until my mind began to grasp the truth it had shunned.
How could I not have guessed or known
The woe, the pain, the destruction?
After all these many years, my failure to feel –
My hiding from the very possibility of horror –
Still strikes: so hard as that first blow.
We became blind through intimacy
Yet we were one union of body, heart and soul
I lived within her and she within me: one mind, one thought,
But the bond failed – I did not comprehend her need.
and I live on knowing the chasm of that failure