Endurance

The men
appear
to be
outliving
the women.

They show up now
At the funerals
With their so-called
Friends.
Companions.

How quick to judge
Are the youngest
And supposed
Most pious.

Let her soul rest,
They say.
It’s only been
Six months,
They say.

He’s never been alone,
The others say.
He’ll die as soon
As she did,
Without someone
To talk to,
They say.

Would you?
Would you dry up
Out of loneliness?
Swallowed up by
Solitude?

Not everyone.
Not those who’ve
Learned to subsist
On crumbs.

Not even a scrap
She received from him
All those years in the same home.

And so she lived alone,
Before they ever parted.
She’s healthier now,
And so is he.

He with his man
She with her books and cat.
Where it comes down at
Is endurance.

What can hold out longer?
The conscience,
Or the conscientious?

photo credit: F. Hurley

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