Before I entered her room, I had been kindly warned to prepare for the worst. I wasn’t sure what that meant or how to heed such words, so I stumbled to my father first and took him in my arms.
In the event, it didn’t matter— my mother’s eyes were closed with so much medication coursing through her veins to dull the enveloping pains that sleep was the only thing her failing body could manage.
Once or twice that long day her heavy lids slowly rose yet quickly lowered again her mind cognizant of nothing her once eager voice silenced her pale flesh sinking steadily into the coldly wrinkled sheets.
For hours we spoke beside her as if somehow she could hear, and I prayed in my heart that she might speak to me once more, but all I heard as darkness fell was her harshly rasping breath and the lengthening pauses between.
Although I had indeed been warned to prepare for the worst that day, I know now with painful certainty that the worst was not that moment seeing her cancered body dying there, but rather thinking of all the days, the years that had quietly passed
this age betrays me
flaying this weary flesh
like avid carrion talons
clawing my very skull
consuming this greying me
angrily scraping away
zealously tearing decay
into spiraling ribbons
of the deepest reddest
i remember how you danced
how your smile circled the room
brightly whirling like a lovely wisp
lit against the envious darkness
held against the shivering cold
oh how you danced, dear Sibel
with a lithe laughter that denied
the mortality that slowly angrily
consumed the simple shell of you
freely enhancing the dancing
spirit of you to bless the ground
you so eagerly floated above
rising higher and ever higher
to entrance the fairies themselves
with the vibrant vernal life and
the ever cascading light of you
of this always dearly loved you
this you illuminated now
and forever more