Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

steps

October 25, 2016

I want to write poems about fictional people
interesting characters of my own invention
third-person insights tangentially about me
but my truth is stranger than fiction
so I’ll keep myself at first-person

the walk to the waiting room for surgery
is familiar: left from the elevators,
quick right, then another
everything is remodeled now
but my feet still count the steps

ten years ago
it was the way to the Cardiac ICU
I pushed a stroller every morning
walked a baby to sleep every night
while her mother said goodnight to our son

ten years later, it’s the place we sit
with his little sister who he never met
waiting for routine surgery
“low-risk”, of course, “band-aid”
but my optimism duct is blocked

I know she’ll be alright
eating ice cream soon
yet I need to say ‘goodbye’ in my heart
to let go, but only in my brain
because who among us knows?

And when she holds the doctor’s hand
walking down the hall
I’m watching both kids leave
into the hands of others
the great unknown of unconsciousness

then that God-damned waiting
with God right at your side
both of us familiar with such things
ready for the worst, expecting the best
faith placed in both outcomes

hope is a miracle
forged on the darkest nights
white-hot flame heating metal
hammered into something trustworthy
shining in the morning light

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