To Pitta

By Leon Joffe


To hide the pain, I'll use the metaphor of fruit:
Bananas as they rot inside show blackened skin;
Tomato skins reflect the vile decay within;
Yet apples glow with health despite some sickly root.
And so, my love, that foul warped seed your fathers sewed
So deeply darkly far inside your beauty's grace
Made not, til now, a single blemish on your face;
Unleashed no inkling of the devastating load
That I, who know it now, must carry hidden far
From you, who also know, that we may live some life.
The apple's rotten core can be expunged by knife,
But every cell contains those genes whose child you are.
And worst of all, the fruit our bodies' seeds have grown:
Our children could be blighted; some; and which unknown.


Your tired smile frightens me - what hurts sustained
On some other battle ground or loving field are hidden
From our twenty year marriage? What hopes lost, regained,
Dreams suppressed or allowed to rise from springs unbidden
Are so keenly sheltered that my outreaching becomes tentative,
Guided only by sense of pain in my image of your smile?
In the deep night when your face turns away, contemplative
Of far more than Us, sapped by more than tiredness or guile,
Accessible, I lean across you to lend you my eyes;
Your fingers touch my skin, gently, telling no lies.


You surprise me every day -
Your fighting spirit
Your vision and its ability to draw me forward with you
Your loveliness even as you plunge through the hard core of our future

You achieve what others dare not even dream about
You know no barriers to the universe
You are my dreamer, my leader
With you I am greater than myself
With you I can carry my perpetual fear that sits inside me like a rock
Turned by you to water
To drain away through the tunnel of your laughter and courage

This day we face together another challenge
I here too distant to do more than love you

I will myself to weakness
That my strength may add to yours
I will myself to passivitiy
That your actions may shame and humble all like me

Know then how much I admire you
And much more than that
Love you

Converted to HTML by Renette Davis with permission from the author Leon Joffe, whose wife Pitta has Huntington's Disease.

Send comments to Renette by clicking here.

Last updated: Dec. 4, 2010