I sit with my dad in the valley of shadows.
Waiting and watching for what will be to close in
as Death flits around the room on wings of time.
I sit closed in while my heart flutters with disjointed syncopation
fighting lungs and airways that want to close off with grief.
My face crumples, now and then, suddenly with no warning,
the Battle lost for a time, as its’ grip squeezes out emotion.
I dissociate from the grief as details and tasks send in intrusive soldiers
to bar me from fountains too deep to spring forth without thought and reflection.
My eyes burn with unshed tears that spring off and on to the surface
and my nose drips drips drips with an overflowing pool of sadness and grief.
I watch the slow movement of the shadows as they slide ever closer to his side.
His labored breathing, medicated to the nines, forces them away time and again,
a swing and parry of death against life to the end. His body wants to keep on, his spirit,
so strong and viable, so eager to BE, grows ever weaker with the onslaught of the enemy.
I tell him, “Dad, its’ ok, I will take care of mom, she is ok, we are ok. Be at peace.”
I see his chest raise once more, then relax. He is gone.