"Honey, I'm Home"
Some big decisions
are made in moments, one per day for months.
Here it comes again.
Walk through the door into a darkened, silent place,
where she will never be again?
Or veer away, a stone skipped off a pond?
He'd hated it before,
in the house alone, even for a week.
She knew this,
worried more for him as she grew weaker.
She stopped worrying, and everything else,
eight months ago.
Plus three weeks. Plus one day.
He does enter,
notices a bookcase photo glowing, nods.
She's with Anne
at a hospice courtyard picnic, last time ever out of bed.
Her face, bloated by steroids;
Her eyes, hollowed by tumor. He’s puzzled.
What luminous about that?
He flips through the deck of her virtues:
stops at courageous. That's the one. She knew
what waited for her.
She's looking directly at it.
Inspired, he tightropes
to the kitchen, faces the fridge where
she's pinned by magnets;
backpacking in college days;
hair short after radiation,
staring down the camera; in Hawaii,
two months before the tumor came back.
Crouched by his food bowl,
Clark meets his eyes, and for another glowing moment
he thinks the cat wants to talk,
is concerned for his mental health.
Those fears are groundless.
He fills Clark's bowl, opens the fridge, scans the shelves
for what won't need cooking.
He wants to make it through the winter
without turning on the heat.
No big deal, Alameda seldom freezes;
the first blossoms appear.