God's Breath on His Back

God's Breath on His Back

A Poem by T. F. Rice
"

A poem that appeared in Earth's Daughters issue #78 (Buffalo, NY)... that is special to me. Cancer affects so many of our lives.

"

God’s Breath on His Back

 

“He wants to make sure God wants him to live. So he spends a lot of time asking. He brings himself close to the edge and he feels God’s breath on his back. If God wants to take him, all he needs to do is blow.”

    �"Dave Eggers, YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY

 

a corner room

two windows bare

light spills in

silence

listens in

open curtain, close curtain:

same noise as in the shower

this place, no privacy

yellow paper bracelet:

FALL RISK

same hand in a photo

once labeled

“until we meet again”

yellow exercise putty

stains white blanket

hands cold to feel, warm to touch

chipped nail picks at putty spot

“Let me cut your nails…”

I take his hand,

 

“I have to ask you,

how did you and Grandma

meet, you never told.”

comics read

absently

word puzzles, shaky circles

a TV that rarely works properly

hovers

a man whose body rarely works

properly waits

 

“I was an engineer,” he says,

when asked�"is he not the same?

five tulips�" not six or two or three

in foil covered pot

tall and straight

yellow�"

flowers perfect for one day

their leaves of many greens

he tries to match

paints with shaky hand, says,

“I know, it’s for practice, but it’s terrible.”

 

yesterday he gave

great-grandson

an art lesson

today, tired from the radiation

he sighs at trying to recite

his meals �" when asked:

“chicken fingers, beef broth,… ?

orange sherbet, hot tea”�"

“or was it pot pie, cottage

cheese, orange sherbet, hot tea…”

“I don’t know, what should I have tomorrow?

I’ve had it all.”

the art lesson more important

later

the sunlight

yellow

more important

pouring over courtyard

he can’t see from where he sits

in bed or chair:

few choices these days

below, high-backed

concrete benches

with etched words,

something

about the caring that happens here

 

a corner room

two windows

beauty spills in

silence

intermittently hangs heavy

air surrounds tulips:

yellow

bracelet: yellow: FALL RISK

this amazing color

lights upon everything

follows as we place our feet 

differently

impatience sits with him

as if a new friend

fidgeting

yellow exercise putty

stains white blanket

same hand is in a photo

two hands etched remarkably with age

“until we meet again”

© 2012 T. F. Rice


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Added on January 29, 2012
Last Updated on January 29, 2012

Author

T. F. Rice
T. F. Rice

Wyoming County, NY



About
T. F. Rice lives with her husband and their teenage son in a small town in New York state in the U.S. She also lives with her creative clutter -- she presses flowers for making candles and cards, recy.. more..

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A Story by T. F. Rice