After her stroke, hers was the first to go.
It sat for two years in their garage, though,
All through the months of her recovery,
Though that was far from full. Vocabulary
Re-emerged, but slowly. So he retired
A few years earlier than anticipated.
He couldn’t leave it all to the nurse he’d hired;
She said he shouldn’t, but that’s what he did.
‘Please, sell my car. I’ll never drive again.’
It seemed as final as a sung Amen.
He knew it must happen, but didn’t know when.
When he opened her glove compartment
He found small change, lip salve, tissues, receipts
From shops and filling stations, peppermint,
An ice-scraper, lipstick, and boiled sweets,
Two tickets for a play at Dundee Rep
(Unused), all sorts of trivial stuff.
He shoved them in a bag. Sat back and wept.
There’s love in the world. But never enough.
About this poem
In 2015 the Scottish Poetry Library commissioned poets Douglas Dunn, Vicki Feaver and Diana Hendry to write on the theme of age. Their poems appear together in Second Wind as part of the Saltire Society’s pamphlet series. The project as a whole is supported by The Baring Foundation, as one of its series of ‘Late Style’ artist commissions.