Buying this ample ranch house in the country,
I dreamed I could rescue you, my husband, 
from the nursing home where I couldn’t visit you
because of Covid, where you were starved,
quarantined in your room with a man
who could only blink. Who knew that apart
from the stroke caused by open-heart surgery, you
would be diagnosed with Lewy body dementia,
which creates delusions, paranoia? Who could guess
that all the knives and scissors 
would have to be hidden, that all the doors
would require inside and outside locks so you can’t escape
to beat up the old fellow across the street
who you are convinced is an enemy? 

I pictured us sitting on the patio, side by side,
my hand on yours as we looked out at our garden,
of flowers mentioned by Shakespeare—columbine,
chamomile, cowslip, daffodils, larkspur, poppy. 
How I roared at Stratford-upon-Avon
when you, with your fat, bee-stung lip, slurred—
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
   (Like to the lark at break of day arising
   From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate, 
   then you whistled a spluttering jumble of notes
   that made me open my bumbershoot. 

Now, sitting beside me on the patio, you jam my chair
against the house, jarring my arm, trying to get closer.
Who knew my dreams would be broken
by you in the hallway, lunging your body
against the front door, bellowing,
“Let me in, Let me in.”