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Sunday, June 6, 2010

2 Weeks from Hell - Part 5


So we had Clint for three more days - at home where he wanted to be.  In turns, we lay with him, whispered our love in his ear, even napped with him.  That's Kristy in the photo with him. Until noon on Monday, he knew all of us, and we guarded our secret that he was here and dying.  None of us wanted to waste one minute of our time with him to answer the door and take a casserole from a well-meaning friend or neighbor.  None of us could eat, anyway.

On Monday morning, when his breathing became laced with rattles, none of the others could bear the noise.  But I stayed with him, and until noon, he answered me every time I said, “Iove you,” with his stock reply, “I love my darling.”  After that, he would open his eyes when I spoke, but as the afternoon wore on, he stopped even that, and I knew he was safe in a coma, away from his pain.

This is one of my poems I wrote only a few weeks ago, but this is where it should be.

Your Leaving

I grow a shell  armor
against your pending death
steel myself for the blow.

And then you get too tired
to live and we dress you
in your soft sweater
and I drop moprhine under
your tongue to give you peace
and let you go.

I lay my head on your
chest, cashmere soothing my
tear stained face and listen
as your heartbeat fades &
you breathe the breath that
is your last.

Now I’m a turtle on
my back  feet fighting the
air flailing to upright
myself  hemorrhaging
tears & wondering how
I got here.

I rock hard, roll back and
forth  struggle to right my-
self and crawl after you.
I fall deep in the dark
grope in the ink-black place
for your touch - one more touch
allow myself to sink
dreading the time I will
paddle to the surface
to find you gone.

I have a long way to go.

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