There's something more than heart-palpitations,
more than weakness of the heart,
more than five or more visits to the hospital
to have the fluid drained from the lungs,
more than a cocktail of drugs whose effects
just might outweigh the benefits
as lethargy and nausea would have it.
Memories whose bony fingers are lightning,
memories whose eyes watch a ship sinking in the sea -
none of these appear on the x-ray.
A trip to the corner grocery store,
an entire afternoon singing summer light
without palpitations or dizziness,
a few quiet moments with cats, are delight.
Easy breathing is a white respite.
Yet throughout is quiet sorrow, the sort of
sorrow her son does not yet understand,
for all his knowledge and all his love.
The old woman has wisdom piercing true,
piercing, almost preying upon a weakened state,
piercing with the blade of twenty years too late.
And the son on the phone
half-listens, his listening of a pallid hue,
convinced he's among the favored few.