By a Thread

A block from the apartment
I see her
on the shoulder of the road,

as if she had been dragged
or thrown there
after being hit.

At first
I think it is a parcel,
then I see her mate,

in a circle
round her crumpled shape,

as if to hem
her spirit in.

His elegant neck arches,
like a question
to the universe.

When I arrive
I tell my parents.

My father will not pay attention
long enough,
goes fidgeting from room to room,

whistling the same tune
over and over.

His fingers whirl like dervishes
against my mother's shoulder
every time he passes,

like some kind of magic,
like a ritual.

She listens utterly
and rapt,
peering from the wheelchair,

from her body,
turned by Parkinsons
to stone.

Her wide eyes fill.

I know I will not talk
about the nursinghome today.

hours later,
I can see him
in the fading light,

repeating the circumference
of his grief;

the bundle
of her broken body
like a hub,

as if love has its own
peculiar kind of gravity,

as if there were a thread
between the two of them
that would not acquiesce.

-- Deb Cooper

Send Comments to Greg Gordon MD, CFI, cydoc@earthlink.net
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