He still goes out of his way every time to ask
how I’m doing: he is the tree whispering through
the cracked hospital window, the shiver of white
narcissus, the breeze lifting the skirt of the nurse
opening my door. He is the song in my head
that doesn’t stop at night, the way curious medicine
wanders my blood--I no longer go out of my way to
picture the mound of earth dug just my size.
Sometimes someone touches your hand in an
unexpected room and you close your eyes
like the lid of a music box that’s been wanting
quiet for years. When I start to die, this is
how it will be: no terrible music, no one taking
my place, his footsteps in silence carrying on.
From the journal of Ann Emerson:
Friday, January 22, 2010 1:55 AM, PSTAnn's journal is ongoing at CaringBridge. It is open to the public. Make a visit. Say hello.
a long week has just ended, with the last 36 hours in the wilderness passed without phone, water, heat, and light. i knew when i signed the lease to this cabin 15 months ago there’d be times like this one. i knew when i decided to embrace living with cancer there’d be times like this too--times of rough poetry at best.
there may not be all the time i’d prefer left to see the rest of the world or even to improve my poetry much, but there is plenty enough left to deepen my relationship to life. further, i am discovering that to delay doing this just because my health isn’t optimal is more than an excuse; it’s a sin.
my epiphany in the darkness is simple and stark. i wasn’t put here to be a poet. i wasn’t put here to achieve one single thing. i was put here only to love.
and, friend, i’m warning you, that is the only reason why you are here too.
I introduce Ann Emerson here:
Meet Ann Emerson