blinding ice

for 3 months before she died
one or both of us was there
in Jackson, NH where her
cozy mountainside home twinkled
golden motes onto gentle snow

she was determined to live
to focus on what really matters
in this precious shared time
one aware moment softly drifted
to another with no delusions

we celebrated Christmas sang
joyously she was vitally alive
among the notes bright stars
wheeled through the sky
a voice both pure and precise

January ended the inevitable
cold settled in four liters
of abdominal fluid were drained
every few days her strength
flowed into sad clouded bottles

February an ambulance came they
carried her on a one way trip
to a hulking hearse its engine
clattered a menacing diesel
arrival growled and departed

we said last goodbyes all night
she vomited blood it overflowed
the bag onto her face a mask
of darkness a final descent to
a writhing tattered chrysalis

with her brothers we planned
services for her community
the building was large full
of bright souls who loved her
and then just us two alone

in the building of furniture
that was once her home icy
rain fell a hard tinkling
thickening covered the land
i marred the hood of her car

a little white Subaru we leased
for her she loved its handling
and suddenly my tears flowed
down over the cracked veins
slid silently to frozen ground

and all around icicles blazed
with bright white light
images tangled among them
an overpowering brilliance
a stabbing scintillation

her things were packed away
soon we would drive back
brief owners of her vehicle
but now there was ice to scrape
blinding and incomprehensible
©John Greenleaf-Maple - text and art 10/11/21

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