The Annointing

She is 39 years-old
and dying.
Three adolescents
clumsy in their bodies
clumsy in this place
and a husband
always soft spoken
always on the verge
thread awkardly in
and out of the room.

And I, the chaplain,
forty-one and also
the mother of three,
make my rounds again.
Sitting at the bed,
waiting for something to come,
some small, desperate comfort.

Wrecked body
in and out.
Bristles of dark hair
sprouting in the pale,
mended scalp.
Round eyes,
full knowing.

"I hope I last long enough to
see Kim without her braces."

I reach for her
and then she is holding me
and I am weeping,
her arms suddenly strong,
suddenly tree-limbs,
her voice like an ocean,
soothing "there-there",
and we are both in wet
with my tears.

And as I leave the room, it feels
as if a sacrament has taken place.

-- Deb Cooper

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