What must it be to stand on watch? To see a loved one tortured with illness. In a long marriage, illness becomes the Other—a provocative mistress between the husband and the wife. The poems of The Mistress strain at the edge: Beauty arises from pain, and pain emanates from the easy laughter of a long and lush bonding. Catherine Strisik does not whine or berate. Instead, the poems are deep with the flesh, as is Parkinson’s disease in the flesh of her husband. This book is one of love poems, brilliantly executed.