By Diane McDonough
Cape Cod Branch, Massachusetts
She sets the table, stirs applesauce
scented with cinnamon and cloves
simmering on the stove.
No words pass between them
as he ventures upstairs,
his eighty-year-old knees raging at each rise.
He doesn’t remember how often
they’d danced in the hard heat of summer,
how after making love,
his finger had traced two hearts in her palm,
over and around her lifeline,
when the children were somewhere.
When dusk comes, he refuses dinner,
nods off in his chair.
She eats alone, sees shadows
step from behind the streetlights,
feeling their way out,
letting their eyes adjust to the night.