I'm walking up
the hill to my friend's house and a peacock is
displaying its feathers in the backyard.
We sit on the porch for a long time, talking
over coffee while chickens roam
about our seated mugs.
She takes me into the back yard,
the place people pine for
and peer at from afar.
People share their snippets behind
the fronts of their houses, behind the walls
I look up and a small herd of sheep is coming toward us.
My three year old, born without fear
of anything new simply stands by as they push past him.
He bends down to pick something
up, suddenly hidden
I start to wonder, is this what my dying will be like? Tiny snippets, big-eyed memories that flood me with their endearments, not the ones I tried so hard to make. Our brains process in fascinating ways when we're dying of natural causes. Time, so often painfully slow, is a gift in most ways on the deathbed. Our feet turn blue and point to the floor, as if readying us for our exit. Our last sense to go is our hearing. We tell stories. We can see people from our past as clear as our mind's eye; we call and reach out for them in the middle of the night; our flashbacks surprising us and those around us with whom we miss, whom we missed, what tininess brought us joy, what wounds never healed. We make our peace, we breathe out one last time as big and as large as we lived, and then we leave.
Elizabeth is making
funny noises, talking to her herd,
laughing as she turns
the sun catches in her graying
hair; a glint
of something passes
over her, through her.
her eyebrows, her arms
at her followers, "Haha! I tricked ya, didn't I?"
We keep following her to the barn.