LEAVING THAT ONE LAST TIME

Adios to Lura Jean


She shuts it all down
turning it off now
At long last! she might say
given sometimes to impatience
It’s about time.
as if the clock ran out of ticks and tocks
but we don’t feel that way
at all                We are all waiting here in this circle around her
at a loss for words and watching hope break up and turn to dust
We are taking all the last looks
and touches we can squeeze in
offering a sweet hymn to send her off
to where she’s oh so eager to go
and has been for a while
She is turning off now like
a toaster or that portable radio she would listen to
every morning with her coffee
and devotions
Switching it off now one last time
and peering at the bright earth
at the cold March rain against the window
chasing the last of winter away
then the stains and cracks on the ceiling
like lines on a map she will no longer need
She hears no voices anymore
except those of the dear ones who went before
When was it now? None of that matters anymore
Air coming out one last time
like a quiet sigh of relief
as these lights she knows all go off
She’s pulling the plug
disconnecting every twist and turn of the body electric
Fear slips away
and all the aching is done and gone
Except for those in the circle who remain
getting ready to carry on
through shadows and valleys of grief
stirring up memories as a private balm.

Flashing back to all the other times
over the years
we had all gathered in a circle
embraced               said our goodbyes
only to gather again
when it was time.

2.3.21

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