You stared in silence
at the MRI, at the shadowy
cavitation of a patient’s brain.
It was progressing, this unknown process, at breathtaking speed.
Your team had tossed every life raft, every throw rope overboard,
and watched them sink, without effect, into the deeps.
Soon you shuffled down the hall, eyes averted.
It was time for rounds.
His fiancé fisted the railing
as you all filed into the room,
offering more specialists and procedures,
last ditch efforts to pull this young man from the storm
of his inevitable end.
But no one spoke of that.
You shifted quietly at the bedside,
navigating this unexpected failure.
Weary of this, you drifted, watching
the patient’s smooth brow, his even breathing, his clear eyes.
As his cloudless gaze met yours,
you straightened, seeing now a soul
instead of a patient,
not a life cut short,
no victim of neurodegenerative
You saw he was
the only peaceful being in the room.
For a moment, you leaned toward him,
drawn into his tide.
That was years ago. Now,
when the autumn storms arrive,
the forest fills with our territorial calls.
You see the boat caught in a squall,
feel the frost reach deep fingers across the meadow
to drape the mountains in white.
A season is ending
and darkness opens its grip, taking more.
This is one way to see it.
Come with me.
Meet me at the snow line,
where the termination dust falls.
This apparent boundary
is more than just a gradient,
a single point of transition.
Some snow is melting. An ice fog hovers. Rime hugs the willow.
All phases are at play here,
a constant recreating
Watch with me, here on this hemlock
as the sun rides lower,
drawing the dusk into lazy, husky flames.
The white ridges catch fire, embers of rose
and even the night is brightened
by this so called dust.
This is the owl’s view. We call it out across the valley, then
fold our silent wings
Can you see it?
Like his wordless, lucent gaze,
the storm holds both
and a brightening.