Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Picture I Could Not Take

I wanted to take a picture
of them, two white heads

so close to one another,
his long, pale neck--slender as a swan's--

turned toward hers, toward the light;
she there in the chair next to his bed,

speaking his name, her speckled
hand on his bruised and swollen arm,

these two the most delicate, yet strongest
of the late summer blossoms, leaning

toward one another, toward the light,
nearing dawn, her eyelids closing

like the moonflower in the morning sun;
death enveloping them like the morning fog.

I had planned to bring my camera
back to the hospital that morning, back

to the large corner room where his sons
and wife kept vigil, his breathing labored,

the hiss of the oxygen the only sound
for minutes at a time, but life had other

plans, and death--well, death lifted,
just as the fog had done, and took

with it any uncertainties, and gave way
to a room filled with sunlight and farewell.


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