02: October 2014 #15 - This is Not
Authored by Joyce Nancy #2
This is Not
by Joyce Nancy
This is not a poem about how you died because I don't know how to write that poem yet. This is not some well-constructed elegy pouring from my throat like endless roses. This is not the cold fog of a morning phone call or how my stomach dropped and throat closed. This is not your body in a casket with glued lips and shriveled fingers. This is not the Ave Maria or any other beautiful hymn at a Catholic funeral promising finality. This is not the eulogy I wrote for you. This is not the eulogy I never gave. This is not an eighty year collection of costume jewelry swept into a box for me to sort through. This is not your voice, your forever unraveling song, or the time you sang Amazing Grace in a hospital bed without words. On the morning you died I stood out in the freezing gray and stared at the tree branches dissecting the sky, I wanted to make it mean something, I wanted a different day, even just the very next day, I wanted you to make it back to the warm weather, too much shuffling onto hospital buses, I can't remember a winter this bad in years, I would have told you to hold on, but I couldn't lie, there was nothing coming next that had not already come, only the neverending drawing out of bad blood, a cleansing that wouldn't keep. This is not the stent in your arm or the fatigue or the bruising. This is not the cup of tea you asked for or the stopping of your heart. This is not the waiting anymore. I promise, this is anything but that.