In September you started to spin.
We knew not why.
It came and went,
As these things often do.
And, though I shared your concern,
I believed it but a temporary diversion.
We progressed through the autumn,
Yet I noticed the concern building
As this unwanted whirlwind never
Ceased its buffeting.
A few fruitless visits to
One who pledged to pursue
Such matters turned into a
Theatre of the absurd.
“Why are you here?”
“Why are you here?”
“Why are you here?”
Did not he have the courtesy,
Nay the decency,
To peruse the folder
He scribbled in but seven
Short days prior for even the
Briefest of moments before he
All too distractedly fluttered into
The sterile examining room
In a rush to get out again and…
And what, exactly?
Is this not his own chosen calling?
In time, other new-found, uninvited,
Undesired, friends came calling.
Aches on right side; jaw and shoulder.
Heart racing and heart flutters.
Lying on the right, the incessant pounding;
On the left, the pain and throbbing.
So, too, the time of respite
Robbed from your gentle soul
Draining away your wealth of will
To persevere, yet you drove on.
Listen, I did, but without comprehension
Because how do you communicate
Particularly when the physick
So readily dismissed your concern
Shutting down, rather than nurturing,
That same part of you that strove to seek
Answers never forthcoming.
We stood in the grocery store,
Not one of our familiar haunts.
The deep chill of a second February
Fulfilling the promise of the just
Ended January to protest the
Conventional wisdom of the ten-year
Average, reminding the region
What it was to winter thirty long years past.
Pale you stood, pushing the cart by
Choice to provide you with that handhold
In a frustrated attempt to remain
Steady until we could quickly
Slip back to the safety of the
Apartment that was so quickly
Becoming your cell.
I grabbed the last of the produce,
Found the correct meat package,
And hurried you homeward,
Only to, moments later, retrace
That same path where we sat
A few short blocks away
Waiting for a new beacon of hope
Perhaps brought to flame by
An emergency visit with
One unfamiliar with the plot heretofore.
I do not precisely recall when the first
Tremors of unfathomable reach
Presenting a neurological puzzle
Compounding the problems
Of so many past days.
As the cyclones would so
Randomly sweep the plains,
The tremors stayed constant,
Static witness to a now
It is of no wonder that you
Felt besieged; haunted by a
Terror in some measure
Manifesting as an ever-lasting
Foreboding, by another
Measure bringing forth a full-on
Panic, the panoply of apps,
Videos, blogs and bios about
Calming and breathing,
Minimizing life’s constant noise,
I did try, even when it was not
Never hopeless, but all too
Very often helpless.
Last weekend, I unexpectedly
Shared in the terror.
The signs literally hanging
On the walls, witness to
A Sophoclistic drama that
I was unwilling to
Allow to impose its ending
Tragedy on our world, furiously
Employing my feeble talents
To pen an alternative conclusion
By line, verse, scene and act.
In this desperate attempt to
Challenge the fates, steer
Clear of the sirens, I was not alone.
The hope of those who truly
Encompass their profession
Working with, rather than against,
The raging storm, providing you
With a first umbrella, willing
To weather the downpour
As they fit size by precious size
Each new sheltering implement
Until we, all together, find the
Combination that can serve
To bring you back to balance.
Yesterday I stood slicing onions
And garlic in the kitchen,
Preparing the simple burger patty
Recipe we found together so many,
Many months ago (when Metro
Stopped carrying our frozen stand-by,
Unceremoniously substituting their
Own, very resistable, store brand);
Listening to the bevy of uncomplicated
Pop songs on my ipod, an entertainment
Of no lasting import other that
The comfort of familiarity.
In the moments of rote preparation
The memories cascading of years ago,
Of months ago, of the last week that I
Would swear lasted months, if not years.
In all this, the chaos of conviction
That there is hope and health
Somewhere to be had and soon
Shall it come to you in its own
Time and through its own method.
The future not like our now distant past,
Perhaps, but an awakening of adjustment
To the new normal imposed on us.
There is a morning to dispel
The perpetual nightmare,
Shadow of the prophetic words
I wrote on another September day
Not quite five years gone:
“Walk a mile in my shoes? No,
Rather walk a million miles
More with me by my side,
A co-op journey through
This life;” promises kept
In the simple state of being together
Come what may.
And, as true as the three word
Benediction now ringing in my mind,
To be continued….