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Old Love, New Hope

Diyasha Chowdhury

Hope is NOT that man who has just turned thirty-five
Who wakes up every day, makes his tea,
Buttons up his shirt, straightens his tie,
He asks Rosita if he looks fine.
He sure hopes so.
After all, his wife is coming home.

She smiles and says that he does
He wonders why there are no mirrors in his house;
But since he has a little time for wondering,
He bids Rosita goodbye.
And sets off for the airport,
After all, his wife is coming home.

His lovely wife who he so adores.
He knows how she prizes lilies,
So he buys her a bunch of purple ones
He longs to see her gentle face
He smiles to himself in sheer glee
After all, his wife is coming home.

And while he sits and waits for her
He wonders why he’s carrying a stick
Or why his hands tremble when he buttons his shirt
Or why his house has no mirrors
Or why his housekeeper Rosita
Has purple lilies in her room all the time
Or why he tires so easily these days
There are so many questions in his mind
But he hardly has time to ponder
After all, his wife is coming home.
When his wife spots him in the airport
She walks to him, giving him the brightest smile
From far off, his seventy-eight-year-old body looks frail
And little
Many a passer-by share a grin
On seeing the elderly couple
Locked in an embrace
His wife tells him “I am so happy to be home”

Hope IS Rosita knowing that her love is not lost
Everyday she hides the mirrors in her house
So that her husband with Alzheimer’s
Who thinks he’s thirty-five
Will not get the shock of his life
When he looks at his wrinkled reflection.
She tells him regularly
how handsome he looks
and how pleased his wife will be
and follows him to the airport
to bring him home, to be.

Every night she goes to sleep beside her love
Praying that she will not have to
Move her lilies to the “house keeper’s” room.
And finally, be able to say
“look honey I’m already home.”


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