When I am sick, I want
to be fussed over.
I want someone to say:
Here, sit on the couch
let me bring you a blanket
and a cup of hot tea
and a cookie
and your favorite book.

Perhaps you could
even read it to me
because the pressure
in my head is too intense
to form the words myself.

My ex-husband needed
exactly the opposite:
Leave me alone
do not bother me all day
asking if I am all right.
I am not and there is
nothing you can do
to make it better.

In fact, if you could
go away for a while
that would be perfect.
Come back with dinner
just leave it on the table.

So, in acts of great kindness
we each gave the other
what we ourselves
and left the other