Category Archives: Caregiving

Transubstantiation

I sat with her today

In that last awful place

Counting the bones between

The lines upon her face.

 

Now I don’t know what happens

To the bread or to the wine

But You were with her today

And with her You were dying.

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Supported Vacation

“I know myself” he says to me
Every time I try to guide him
He cannot think of any need
For anyone beside him.

I can think of hundreds,
Thousands, given time:
Murder, theft and multitudes
That can’t be made to rhyme.

For he may know himself, but not
The city, state or nation
Mostly blind and mostly deaf,
Hence “Supported Vacation”.

He could be made a victim
In a dozen different ways
But of us two in Central Park
I am the one afraid.

But I saw Times Square divide for him
And 30 Rock bow down
Before his perfect liberty
The Statue cast her crown.

“I know myself,” he says again
And we are silenced by his claim.
For neither I nor New York City
Would dare to say the same.


Palliative Care

Dying is a cold white room

Where we sit and wait,

Undisturbed by life,

While every voice falls silent

And every movement becomes still.

 

I leave the room because I can,

And the person lying there.

To walk down the fluorescent hall,

Open the door I am allowed

And find that it is June outside.

 

The evening there is soft and warm

The air pregnant with thunderstorms,

Alive with the voices of spring,

The peepers and red-winged blackbirds,

And the scent of the lilac trees.

 

I return to the cold white room

And find the room is empty now.

But if there’s one thing that I know

It’s that wherever you have gone

It’s on the June-side of the door.


April-Anne

Mother without children

Friend without a friend

Lover without object

Giver without gifts.

 

On the day the Lord returns

I will not know His face

Til his sword of His mouth

Tears my cold heart through

 

But you will be taken

Completely unsurprised.