Wondrous Coward





There exists a poem
At least I think it is a poem
With the lines
“The coward dies a thousand deaths
The valiant die but once”
Or something close to that

I have lived your death too many times
I am a total coward 
Not for myself
But for myself without you

Sometimes in the night
I wake up and lie
Fearfully still
Until I hear you breathe

Sometimes, like now,
When you are napping
Because you “just didn’t feel quite right”
I have to resist the urge
To go into the bedroom
To check that you are just sleeping
Not dead

Like when my children were babies

That dreadful fear
That my heart and life
My sanity itself
Will break into a thousand shards
And cut my soul to shreds
Should you have stopped breathing

Your love has made of me
A wondrous coward

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