Bye Gram…Love you.
A Few Moments Too Late
I saw my brother standing outside and
I knew that you had already gone.
I had stopped to get a drink
and wasted precious moments.
I knew the time was very short, but
I didn’t realize…
I was coming, I thought.
But you wouldn’t wait –
it was your time to go home
and my dalliance cost me
being with you at your final moment.
My brother was stationed at the entrance
to cut me off at the pass –
to prevent my hysterics – and I felt peeved.
What the fuck?, I thought.
I knew you were dying.
It’s not like it was going to be a shock.
I could see how tired you were.
I knew it was time.
So what did this mean? I couldn’t cry? I couldn’t be upset?
So we went in,
so I could say goodbye,
while you were still warm.
And there were no hysterics.
I was a good girl.
It was so very anticlimactic, like a birth.
All that waiting and just like that
Something huge has happened
but the immediate impact
is so flat.
That’s it? That’s all there is? Shouldn’t there be some
fanfare? Some sense that the world has stopped to
take notice, if only for a moment?
You looked peaceful. I kissed you goodbye
and smoothed your hair,
and told you I loved you,
the same as I had a few days before
when you were still alive but mostly unaware.
I said a Hail Mary over you, because it was the
only prayer that came to my mind.
I’m sorry Gram. I’m sorry I wasn’t more attentive
to the fact that time is continually sliding away.
I’m sorry I was afraid of your dying –
That I was too innocent in my attitude
toward the insidiousness of time,
instead capitulating to the press of my own mortality
as I helplessly watched you fade.
You are beyond all that now –
beyond reproach, beyond pain, beyond
our need for you. And I know it’s better…
But, I am sad. And I am sorry. And I am awed.