The Way It Ended

by Gail White

So time went by and they were middle-aged,
which seemed a crazy joke that time had played
on two young lovers. They were newly caged
canary birds — amused, not yet afraid.

A golden anniversary came around
where toasts were made and laughing stories told.
The lovers joined the laugh, although they found
the joke — but not themselves — was growing old.

She started losing and forgetting things.
Where had she left her book, put down her comb?
Her thoughts were like balloons with broken strings.

Daily he visited the nursing home
to make her smile and keep her in their game.
Death came at last. But old age never came.

Gail White has recent work in Mezzo Cammin, Southern Women’s Review, Literary Bohemian, First Things, and Light Quarterly. She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, with her husband and cats.

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Pat Jones
Published 20 May 2010