journal and strong-as-I-can-stand-it-coffee
the ones she tossed me
when she opened the package to
discover eight nightgowns and pj's
she had ordered weeks ago.
It was two days before new moon.
Are you going to change every few hours? I joked.
threw one set at me
and chose another for her final earth-bound moments
her deathbed outfit
to match her coral-painted toenails.
It is the one year anniversary of her death.
Cancer's fatal kidnap.
Flame flickers on my altar
sage smoke curls and wafts
carries my drumbeat
into the cosmos
mixes with memory and
the certainty that she is with me this morn.
I rarely drummed without her, afterall.
The poignancy of our final hours
is seared within --
It's just my luck this new moon is late in the day
I smiled. Reminded her
that moon's birth time once forced me
to be married at 5:30 a.m.
She cast me a shoulda-slept-in-grin.
Come help me in the bathroom she said.
we gathered around her
twelve moons ago --
husband, soul-sister, older daughter, younger daughter --
stuck like glue
there was no place else to be
except in her final waking presence
rendered complete by her admonition
stop sitting there staring at me
with laughter-soaked tears
our tether was cutting us loose.
So I sat at her feet, rubbing and humming,
watched the woman who lived for spring
and towers of seed catalogues
raise her eyes and gaze to the sky
as if to discern her personal portal.
Bring me some dandelions she said
eschewing the explosion of cultivated blooms
in her garden beneath the window.
I cleaned and prepared her altar mid-day --
sage stick, Bald Eagle feather, Venus of Willendorf
Green Tara at the center
open eyes on Her palms
bottoms of the feet
and center of Her forehead
the focal point of Carole's morning meditation
tucked between morphine and body's decay.
The Tarot death card sat upright in a shell.
We agreed: it was time for it to go.
Linear time tagged Luna.
Or was it the other way around?
The moon was about to birth
our dying mid-wife was called to witness.
We final four encircled the bed
Time to smudge, Christina
cleansing smoke for the primal brain
sent oer Carole, dr-friend, daughters, husband
accompanied by the near-by heartbeat of drums
the sister's journey song.
IV drip prepared
the legal necessity
reserved for those
with no promise
of an earthly
the lethal process
at any time
do you know what you are about to do?
Carole's ultimate struggle
to keep morphine balanced
an orchestration of perfection
so she could answer
A daughter at each foot.
Husband and Soul-sister at each shoulder
one by one
she looked into our eyes
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
My Perfect Love
the silent slip