“Stop the Clocks”

Volume 8 | Spring 2018

by Ann Casapini

I stand alone, naked–
except for this gold band on my left ring finger.
I stare at it, reflecting on what it was supposed to mean.
Happiness? Companionship? Children?

Now, you are officially a full-time in-patient at Montrose VA Hospital,
deep in the mud of war memories.
Now, I am officially a visitor.
I am just the significant other–and there is no program for “others.”

I am stuck like a leaf in ice.
Not knowing, not planning. Numb.

Behind your doors:
Tears, screams, nightmares, electric shock therapy.
Behind my doors:
Sighs, moans, regrets, dreams deferred.

Walking ghosts, group activities and constant noise surround you.
An empty bed and solitary meals engulf me.

The stopped clock on our dresser stands like a sentinel.