This poem was not easily won. An hour ago I told myself ‘Katie, you are not moving until you’re written a poem, now get it done!’ Here’s the result.
The Final Hours
It’s almost time for you to back away,
to retreat, with small, timid steps,
behind the star line.
There’s still so much I want to
excavate from the deep fortune
of our past.
Yet, nothing is forthcoming,
and words remain as clusters of warm
agony in my throat.
Huge memories hang just out of reach,
like a stag suspended in the frozen currents
of a river, with a wolf pack waiting
on the shore for the coming of the thaw.
Yet for me, the thaw will never come,
and you will never be released.
Your warmth is nearly finished now,
you’re almost ready to go under the night,
but I’m not ready for you to move elsewhere,
I’ll never be ready for you to leave.
I’m scared and ashamed and tense
A nurse comes into our room.
This isn’t fair I say to her face.
She smiles. It’s the wrong kind of smile.
She’s young. Younger than us.
She doesn’t know what else to do
except note your vitals and leave.
You said I could read your journals,
that there’s a lot of nice things about me,
and some not very nice things too.
I said that’s alright in between kissing
your mouth, the lips that bewitched me.
Your eyes are owl round and wet,
and your last intake of breath is so quiet
that I almost miss it.