Is It Like

Soap is rubbed between hands under warm water. Is that to wash? Eyes pierce the mirror glass to see. Is that to look? Bodies recline supine on beds in dark rooms, but don't sleep. Is this rest?

Cups we drink from, music we play, the things we say, days we are sick, chests that breathe, arms that forever move, heads in thought, and wrists that sometimes itch. Is it like that?

What of the cool, quiet day, its calm, gentle winds and carpet soft grasses? what of the delicious meal, savoring its delicacy, what of the after-rain smell, and bodies embracing, or children, playfully racing? what of the infant, fragile, small and adored, and the melody coupled with harmony? Is this too what it is like?

That fear, too unbearable, this coiled snake poised to strike, that stinging fall from which blood will flow, this sweating neck making a hand reach back, that nervous twitch, this anxious twist, then, the arguments and shouts, tears from gathering doubts, not knowing what may come. Is it really like that? Could this too be life?

Now, see a phrase said, not meant, a cold insult thrown, not intended, a mischief made, not realized, a hurt engendered, not understood, a perfidy committed, without attestation, a blow delivered, but not redressed, a love one dying from the hands of others, and never forgotten. It is also like this?

This momentous concern, that hard earned clarity, this venomous loathing, that kiss in passion, this tight-eyed regret in shame, that misdemeanant unpunished, this loud noise, so startling, that touch, very pleasing, this conception, all engrossing, that farewell, a heart-breaking asunder...Is it like that? Is all of it, finally like, like...tell me what of this, this that it is like?

The poem above I wrote sometime ago, is dedicated to my mother, whom died 8/6/97, after suffering massive cardiac arrest due to an improperly implanted pacemaker. She was 84 years old, and the center of my life in her last years. She languished in a vegetative coma for at least three weeks before my family and I decided to end her life as she often asked us to do, if such a fate befell her.

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