A Kindness Bestowed

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Photo by SAMUEL HENRY on Unsplash

When Camel-heavy lungs finally shrank
my father’s world to a bed by the window,
on sunny winter days his bed
became a beach where he lay,
pajama top unbuttoned, hairless chest
exposed, the whooshing surf
of the oxygen tank now pleasing.

And the sun, unmitigated by a pane of glass
or the pain of a rationed breath,
was kindness itself, bestowing the
warmth of many hands it seemed,
keeping the dying fire inside aglow
long after it reached the end
of his square footage of sky.

Today’s sunshine reminded me of this poem, first published in “Best of Kindness 2017” by the Origami Poems Project. My father never lived to see this poem but he told me that the best last days of his life were as I’ve attempted to describe.

By Myself In Mazatlan

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Photo by Davide Sibilio on Unsplash

Night here, alone, makes me unfaithful
to the woman we both know:
easy to give my heart away
to a stranger
wandering the beach

of my innermost shore,
the crash of the ocean’s ivory keys
drowning the do-re-mi
that has played
me for years,

the air so loose and warm,
all the old clothes
must be pulled off,
my body shown
for what it is—

a sweat
of holy longing, faithful
only to what seems to be
last call for living
this other me.

One of several versions of another Mexico poem. Maybe I’ll post the others sometime and see if you like one over the other….