Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Garden of Grief

Now is not good,
but it will only get worse.

The illness is squeezing me
like a piano accordion
into a tighter and tighter note.
Only with the utmost vigilance
can I swallow food and drink
past the pleated folds
of my stomach.
I do not know how it is
that my last breath hasn’t already
echoed thinly in the air.

One is not a family:
it’s a solitary fugal voice
faltering as other entries
fade into nothingness.

This morning I took these griefs outside;
with flagging breath
and dereliction of body
I cannot rant or wail.
I just hoped to release
a trickle of tears
against the pain.
But I hadn’t taken the garden
into account: the integrity
of a fifty-eight walnut tree,
a vibrancy of bird song
bellbird, thrush, canary, sparrow
each claiming their own
spring time territory.

I felt like a sailor setting out
in expectation
of fierce winds and crashing waves
only to find myself lulled
into halycon days;
calm skies, sunshine
and the promise of spring.

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