for the vigil-holders

like a plane taking off i say
of the sprint part of the intervals
mica and illy and i run
on the frisbee field at
8something in the already-warm morning
the rush of news and mobilizing
to match cars and drivers with riders to get
as many people now to dennis and sharon’s side
in the hospital 15 miles from here
and how that means all of a sudden i’m in the back seat
where mae hands me arthur (6 months?)
and his sister althea teaches me
how to tah tah tah tah him
to keep him smiling through the teething and
carseat bound-ness


you’ve been running a marathon i lean in
to sharon five months and two days she says
with one hand on his heart
the other on his wrist

what strikes me is how the sound
shfits throughout the hours/day
from hushed and somber
to semi-raccous sing along
(country roads/leaving on a jetplane)
with light laughter

to the most sacred quiet
i have ever built/held/been surrounded by
when sharon calls those of us who remain
at 9something at night
to come in close and lay hands
the only sound pinning us to the present
is the rise/fall and now sometimes labored breath
entering/leaving dennis’s lungs
a rhythm which will eventually even out
what do you mean by even out sharon asks
the doctor in kneelength athletic shorts
under his overcoat
more space he says between each breath

the bridge, while we gather around this sacred rise/fall sound,
i build for him
to cross over when he’s ready

the season’s first dahlia i cut
and surround with strawflowers, snapdragons and globe amaranth,
stalks bound in a grass ribbon and placed
in a mason pint jar with water
to bring alongside the meal
for the vigil-holders
trish cleaning out the walk-in freezer
so we will have an interim space to place
dennis’s body before the burial
dan and i farmer-geeking out
on the ride home
about teparies and cabbage
amongst other things as the lightning storm
keeps lighting up
in the distance
everything is beautiful i send news and everything
is bathed in brilliant light

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