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German saunas are a bit of an eye opener for anyone brought up in Britain.

The Couple in the Sauna

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse02 Sep 2013

It's a German sauna
So no one here
Wears even a towel.

From the hairy old
To twenty-somethings
With their discrete tattoos

And pert round breasts
(Well, I'm only human),
And the strutting men

Whose self-confidence arises
As self-evidently as
The reason for it.

But it's the man in the
Wheelchair, and yes, the
Woman radiating quiet grace

As she pushes it,
That I'm drawn to.
Naked, he looks rich:

Well-groomed, silver hair
His groin clean-shaven;
Her lovely auburn hair

Flows down to her
Firm and toned body.
Serenely she propels him

Before lowering the chair,
Bump after gentle bump,
Down the stone steps,

Then empties him out
Into the tepid pool.
He swims, paddling smoothly

With strong muscular arms;
She sits and waits
Tenderly accepting his head

Into her beautiful bosom,
All bitterness and shame
Sweated out on benches

In scalding hot rooms
With foot-burning marble floors,
And guilt blasted away

By jets of steam.
But their grief remains
Floating on the water;

Hanging in the air,
What's left is