I watch the doc and intern discuss the ‘case.’
The drollery escapes both – or maybe the joke
in this slightly absurd farce is beyond them.
After all, they must be saying, a stroke’s a stroke,
even if the cause was someone dumping him
to marry. The wife knows, puts a face.
Is it face, I wonder, that makes her nurse
that uncouth hulk, rude and petulant as a brat
as she cajoles meals and medicines in
with bully or banter: no more than that,
surely? For she can’t hope to win
what the other had, what never was hers.
Soon he’ll go home, wheeled out by hands
now duty bound, strangers to love: and back
in his dreams or cups will rue and pine,
and snap at table at some imagined lack
or other, while she humours his whine,
cheerful victim of his crippling romance.