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Feb 2017
Give me to carry
just a fragment of the cross.
A single thorn, or single lash
to suffer. A drop of blood.

At your worst, holding you
seemed to make the world make sense -
to you, at least -
but the nurses had lorazepam for that
and in more ways than one
I came to know impotence.

Like a supplicant, eating nothing at all
and playing cards with myself
while waiting for the Visitation.

At your best, I brought Halloween string lights
and Halloween candy for the holy sisters
and pagan holiday or no,
we gave that room the feeling of a convent,
and I wrung my hands while you slept.

Home in midafternoon and anxious
rosaries in azure on the bedsheets
and flowers in brown, on green field
dormant.

Sleeplessness was penance,
and so was I absolved; thus some of that
absolution affixed itself to relics
and that rubber duck on the dashboard
I touched in the morning traffic.
It glowed to say
your spirit was with me.

And though I now can sleep at any hour,
I examine it all the same
for some of Christ’s blood, or his forgiveness,
hoping to find the signet ring of the Pope
or at least some of your halo
where I should expect
the Byzantine absence of it.
Wade Redfearn
Written by
Wade Redfearn
243
 
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