The Visiting Hours

Cold white floors reflect an anxious expression,
Eyes tainted with emotion - love, hope, want

fear, impatience, pleas for the future to arrive all lingering there.
The receptionist checks her watch and draws her eyes upward
A skeptic in stiff clothing, scrutinizing my worthiness,
Visiting hours haven't started, she tells me,
Two minutes to go - two hours of allotted time I am given,
Maybe daily, maybe only weekly,
Lilacs held in hand, I grip the stems so tightly that I feel
the structural sinews starting to flatten,
Two minutes to go til visitng hours.
They pass, they fade as I wait,
Lilacs held close to my heart, my feet tread heavy
and fast across the floor.
Into the room I go, where she is, visiting hours
in which it is just us, and I can openly express
all those things that only she is to hear.
Only during the visiting hours can she press
the lilacs to her lips, thank me, and smile at me in her love,
eyes shining with starlight and strolls along the beach,
clasped hands and murmured affections against bare skin,
only during the visiting hours can we be ourselves
only during the visiting hours can she openly love
openly share her heart with me.
The visiting hours are over, says the warden
wandering in with a frown on his face,
it's time for you to leave, says the warden
placing her charts and carelessly swiping his eyes over the scene,
her hand draws away, the warmth draws away, the lilacs resting between her fingers,
lover's whispers no more, one last smile she tentatively offers as I am
ushered out by the somber man,
left to wait until visiting hours again, seeking out echoes
of "I love you" with lilacs pressed to her lips.

Ly Hansen

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