What it is like,
This knowing that your days are numbered
Like some calendar we keep to recall where we've been
But not to forget where we are now?
If we look from your eyes,
What would we see beyond the leaf-like veins
That trace their paths to growths once cut away
Like mold from cheese gone bad?
If we listen with your ears,
When would we hear the falling away of breaths
Against the time you choose to speak
Your final last ever words forever?
If we dare not get close enough
How would we smell the char of lungs
Burned hands brain numbed
Your flesh made Holy Ghost?
If we sit at your table,
Could we taste the biting salt of loss
Immeasurable as the grains of sand
Washed up on a beach you loved?
If we take your hands in ours,
Might we somehow touch the spot where feeling
Of sister for brother and mother for son
Begins and ends then begins again?
See. Hear. Smell. Taste. Touch.
We close our eyes.
We quiet thought.
We loosen our grip and let the air clear.
At the end of this day,
We say we have no knack for this:
Not the holding on.
Not the letting go.
Copyright 2009 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.