I’ll tug at her apron while she reads books,
and whistle off tune while she bakes bread,
and I’ll climb in clogs on bare wood stairs…up
and down, and up and down until she looks at me.
Then, with permission, I’ll sit at her feet and
tell her that I see visions and hear voices…and
she will tell me I am dying soon…not today…not
tomorrow, for I’ll have days to assign the giving,
and to choose right order of the songs on lists
I’ll paste on doors and where people hang their coats.
She has pockets in her apron, and from them
she fills my hands with question marks and
exclamations…and ending marks of periods
she’s gathered from my life when I, so very
careless…thoughtless…dropped them from
my notice as trifling to its needing.
And I…downcast with regret…leaving her…
shall wish I had not asked.
Artwork by Tosa Mitsuoki