Poem January 2024
Because she was fast in her way
And he followed her suit,
They launched horizon’s fruitful gaze
To fortify their fruit.
In short parlance, ahead of him,
She was a gushing bride
Until gray moods turned dark to bend
Their rivers for her tide.
They never had one dissension.
He lived his love the same
Beyond single thought’s contention.
Her body chemistry!
A drinking fountain salutes thirst,
Instant bubble, wet lips.
Then comes what earthly love holds first,
Her muscles fell to slips.
So he slept and woke up alone,
For she was processioned
In Smithfield Manor Nursing Home,
Tenacity, a test.
His eye-lids open every morn.
The bones to him creak rise.
The sun’s obeying crown adorns
Remembrances, her sighs.
— Shelby Stephenson
Shelby Stephenson was North Carolina’s poet laureate from 2014-16. His most recent volume of poetry is Praises.