RIFKAH GOLDBERG
SCRABBLE IN THE KITCHEN

Two months, day and night
He stood over her
Sinking into the sheets
In cold hospital beds

Watching intently
Her closed heavy eyes
Until they struggled open
To notice his faithfulness

Straining to hear her requests
That three bottles of perfume
Were superfluous here
Look yet again for the tooth picks

Should take more care of himself
Shield his eyes with sunglasses
During the day not towards night
Can take off his cap when inside

Now facing each other again
Over a game of scrabble
On the shaky kitchen table
Is curlew a word -- a brownish bird?

Uses most of his letters
Her vivid blue eyes
Look fondly at him
Across the years

Once met them
Under one umbrella
Eating ice cream
In the pouring rain

This is the simple stuff
Many find so complicated
That has kept them together
For over half a century

1999