What I saw
of a body punctured,
Cords and catheters
holding the surge
until time blinked
on and off
In a violent dance
the parade began
Ieaving the ICU
Cold near death
no warmth of breath
no glow of caring-
but running deep into the pain,
a voice heard
without a sound made—
The heart grows tender only in the dark places of pain and loss
where seeds of anger die too slowly
but then reach
for the hope of rebirth
for the delicate touch of light
for a healing shower of grace and love
She did not match the data presented
in hospital speak to a crowd of learners.
It was not so much a lie
as it was a revealing – a tale.
The well and the ill are stories
told from all sides of a hospital bed
in space and time
not captured in code and computer screens.
So let the record so reflect
the hurt and the heart of
beyond the numbering of days.
Photography thanks to Nick Van Zanten
Without respect to will
the heart still beats and chest breaths life.
Not true when with pain
to listen or not, to care too much-
hold so tight the hurt
the inner lines are lost
and I am not me but you.
The beauty of a sunset along the Appalachian gaps
reminds me that I wish no one ill
Yet then its shining point annoys
and the glare strains my soul
“go hide in the valley and die out”
and in that breath
I have struck an edge
from life to death
Early before the full rising
A witness to an accidental death.
A squirrelly fella
outsmarted by speed
beating fast across the central lines
then frozen in fear –crushed
a heart stopped.
A morning death always makes me cry.
She knew beauty from inside out
flaming life with gentle sparks
When death like cancer found her heart
beauty breathless cried for help.
She died too early for spring’s warmth
beneath the surface broken, hurt
with hopeful lilies by her side
and dreams of color catching light.