Not yet dead by drink or deed
what you see is just an absence of higher grace.
Still, I have these days to trample
through the bulrushes,
a low swamp-moon rootbound in the mire,
needles of green dragonflies embroidering every step
of this unsturdy tapestry.
Marsh wrens weave above the reeds
and my dirty clothes are still folded
on the visitor’s fold-up chair
and above my laceless boots.
Let me go back to the full-bodied pull
of my Coppertone lotion and the blue coastal water.
I have been found too old to be cutting across the wetlands,
bare-chested and foundering,
too old to be this afraid of being lost under this great yonder
and waiting for the IV line
to become a string of pearl onions
plinking into my old martini glass.
The nurse’s choice of music is a little too Simon
and Garfunkely for the mood of this room.
On Thursday afternoons we get the same paper placemats
as that off-season stone crab shack on I-75 next
to the car wash but before the Micanopy exit,
you know the one,
with the hand-drawn bottlenose dolphins and silly
starfishes for the kids
to color in before their chemo sessions, I guess,
listen to the monitor, does that sound like a mallard?
She is ready to say goodbye again,
finally ready to learn to live without me.
One last trample through the bulrushes, I say,
and wait for her to answer.