Four months and two weeks after
seeing her, for what might’ve been
the last time, we are honored to
be able to see Aunt Agnes again.
It is Mother’s Day—surely this day
she is taking some of her last
breaths, her eyes only slightly open,
as she continues to sleep the sleep
of Wednesday, uninterrupted.
Mary Jo, ever tenderly present,
fields calls in the hallway,
prepares for the inevitable end
of this phase of both of their lives—
and for the gathering of the clan—
for the release of the breaths held-in
and welled-up tears that will surely
fall when she crosses to the other
side of that narrow hallway.
Agnes must have felt like the eternity
was on this side the last few months—
some kind of purgatorial tarmac, or
red tape foul-up regarding her freedom
to move on from here. Perhaps, it was the
other way around. Was she hanging back
with her dear dear family, not wanting to
see all of their hearts so heavy at once?
In our yard, the late afternoon sun
pours a strange spotlight on the lone
bleeding hearts standing tall amongst
the gang of shaded pachysandra,
lying low, in their usual places.