“Perhaps creating something is nothing but an act of profound remembrance.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life

Tonight, my husband is on a plane
making his way to Chicago; he and his

siblings have been called and will be
gathering at the bedside of their mother

who’s been in the hospital’s intensive
care unit for several days. Two weeks

ago, we were planning details for a reunion
in a cottage up by Lake Geneva: who’d get

which room, who’d be responsible
for grocery runs, for rides, for side

excursions to Niagara Falls and closer
towns. When she came to consciousness after

the pacemaker implant, she asked the doctor
if she’d be able to travel, and was told

yes. I wondered then: so soon after surgery,
would it be safe for her to don a blue

rain slicker and board a boat with the rest
of us, to feel the thundering spray from

a horseshoe-shaped curtain of water
crashing over the rocks? Growing up,

I’d hear my elders say The spirit is
willing, but the flesh is weak
. You might

think this well applies to her situation, except
that no one knows for sure. No one wants to talk

about what it might mean yet: if she’s come
to the end or if the body might still rally

and surpass all hopes, sprinting back from the edge,
from teetering and then slipping away in the mist.


In response to Via Negativa: Asymmetry.

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