059 (c1)

the thing is a whimper that came with a bang
and blood the intestinal distress signal
that brought it. we linger in languid pools of fear waiting
for an inevitable answer, blanched by hospital lights,
kept awake by black lukewarm proto-coffee.
why does this always happen during the holidays?
i ponder as i wander to the edge of the land,
reeling from the lunchtime reveal,
staring out at the willamette colored by gray skies
and brown earth, remembering knee-deep snow drifts
as we collectively brought our father through the ER,
standing around him before they sliced his belly open
and fixed his blood vessels so his legs could breathe again.
and now, the healthiest one of us has a mass
mutating in his intestines, an error in coding,
a message from god: “your time is done
whether you like it or not.” and me, a state away,
destined to observe from the sidelines as usual,
crying on the trampled grass of the esplanade.

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