A woman in bed with a man and his dead father
is lonelier than a woman in bed alone,
for three's a crowd -- and face it, a dead man
weighs in to make a formidable other.
It is a son she holds now, not a lover:
flesh of his father's flesh, bone of his bone,
heart hurting with the unsaid and the undone --
a nakedness, but not hers to uncover.
She holds a son (not hers) whose difficult grieving
she cannot reach as wife, nor soothe as mother,
bound as it is to years she has not known.
What can she do but listen to his breathing,
stroke his cold brow, and wait for calmer weather,
allowing him this darkness for his own.
Sarah, Robyn. "Night Visit" Modern Canadian Poets. Jones, Evan and Todd Swift, eds. Manchester: Carcanet Press Limited, 2010. 182.