A WHITE figure spoke from the doorway
In a tone deliberately bright:
"Would you like to see the patient
For a moment, and say goodnight?"

Shepherded in like a stranger
He stood beside her bed,
Gazed at those pale, blank eyelids
In that carven ivory head.

Took her hand and heard her
Murmur: "Is that you, Jim?"
But he knew she was very tired ­
Tired even of him.

Too much spent with the struggle
Of drawing breath to afford
A brief smile - utterly weary,
And more than utterly bored.