An almost, circumstance. Sustained
by intensive care unit, my father’s
withered muscles. First the right hand, legs, the lungs;
a machine to administer breath. On Carling Avenue,
flush in fluorescent polish,
an eternity of blankets, stainless repetition.
Time simultaneously collapsed,
suspends. He will not return home, but
for singular purpose. To finally land; to comprehend
where he once stood.
Pinned, to the weather. If he might or could,
these endless meetings
with social worker, hospital staff. He will not return home,
but might, yes. Texts out
responses, queries. Sister
administers, paperwork: wheelchair,
hospital bed, BiPAP machine,
health workers. His medical history
goes viral. What else. An updated proposal
by the ready.
Sleep apnea, diabetes,
colon cancer, triple bypass, short term
multiple sclerosis. Worn, our hearts crush.
Wherein, his lungs. He sleeps
all morning, and another year. A blood clot,
cyst; thigh-high, the muscle. Set
the scanners on. Attempt
to drain. It doesn’t, won’t. Home plans
suspend. Demarcate, black marker
lineates. The daily whiteboard calendar
by his bed is obsolete
for half a day.
Imagine, his options: history held
the iron lung. Lists, a sentence. His strength
will not return. Will ours? My sister’s
homemade contraband, a
chicken wrap, delights. We offer strawberries,
raspberries, daily paper. His hospital flatscreen,
suspended in air,
shimmers local news. The only
the daily bleed.
I am aware of my silence
on this matter.