This Great Wound

Nothing I can say
can cauterize
this great wound

but I try my best
because there’s
nothing else I can do

she takes guesses
at how many days
her Mother has left

thinking each short visit
with her
will be the last

I tell her not to worry
to take
all the time she needs

but she feels guilty
taking time away
from nuclear family

how differently would we live
our lives
if we knew our expiration date?

would you even want to know?

could be a bus
could be a bullet
could be a stroke
a heart attack
could be a tornado
a fire
could be a ton of crumpled steel
a soul sound asleep
could be a curse called cancer

we live in uncertain
unsure to be alive

do we have it in us
to love one another
with every muscle’s pump

the act of letting go

do we have these things
inside us?
before we turn our insides out

I pray
I’m not buried
with hate

bitter taste

or any other pain

and although no flame
can cauterize
this wound

I want to say I did my best
and reassure her
she did the same

because it’s not worth it
to hold on
to these chains.

-For Tami, for Melinda, for me, for you.-


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