Tuesday, June 28, 2016


As some of you know, my ex-wife has just been put on hospice. The doctors have given her no more than six months to live. Medical circumstances are complex but they include the need for open-heart surgery without which her heart will give out but which cannot be performed because the anesthesiologist says that putting her under anesthesia will kill her in her weakened condition, pernicious MRSA infection which has gone on for years and already cost her one leg, organ failure… Well, you get the picture.

I've been through this too many times before. When someone you care about reaches a point where you begin to pray not for recovery, because you know that's impossible, but just for an end to the suffering. The good news about hospice is that she now has drugs available to her that are not available to patients expected to live. This means she will probably sink deeper and deeper into a haze and be less and less alive even as she continues to breathe, but at least the suffering will have the edge taken off.

Again, any of you who know us know the divorce was long and bitterly fought. While it did put an end to my being in love with her, it did not stop me from loving and caring about her. Nevertheless, most of the suffering I experience is the suffering of my children.

There are different ways to handle grief. For me the good poem helps a lot. So today I wrote four brief ones. They follow.

Seasons End

The tree no longer as yellow with fruit
As it still is with leaves
The ground beneath its skirt
Littered with the ruins
Pecked, nibbled, rotten
Rich with next year's nutrients

The Crowning jewels
Given back
Returned for rebirth

Why must seasons end?


Ode to Nefertiti

Once she entered in a room
And The Beautiful One Was Here

Men stood tall
Women smiled

She did not walk across a room
She sailed

Every chair
Became a throne

Her diamonds
Were crown jewels

She was always a woman
As Billy Joel sang

Her flaws
Were just her frame

Where has Nefertiti gone?
When will she come home?



Those we love that we have lost
Are Schrodinger's cat made manifest
Dead alive
Both and neither

In memory so vibrant
In reality so macabre,
Dead alive
Both and neither

This is true
That is true
Dead alive
Both and neither



Words are only words, you'll hear
Sounds that signify the insignificant
Often true I don't deny
But also often false

Words can cut and words can heal
Words are the heart and soul
Struggling to be known
Striving to be born

Words are the sweat and tears and blood
Of the living us encased in flesh
The real you and the actual me
Reaching out to touch

Unsaid, they mold and spoil
Said, they may dry out and die
But at least they have a chance
To act as seeds of grace


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