"Here's the Thing" by Ciretta Marion Carroll

Updated: Mar 18, 2019




Here’s the Thing

(For Janice and Phil)


Slowly the news of your reality came to

Most of us in this modern age on our screens –

Distance made into almost none at all

We could hear the curtain pulled along the track on the ceiling –

Drawing a tight circle around her bed and each other

Visibility really didn’t matter as your words conveyed the gravity of it

And the lightness of your love

Until the observers in their waiting rooms were almost blind.


There were her fine features and perfect presence

And the obscenity of what you both were suffering

And You: making a way out of no way –

Not one of us didn’t know how lucky you were

Even in this horrible juxtaposition of

Fall of dice and shuffle of cards.


I knew your walk. I could almost feel the fire of it.

You, doing the smallest things with the greatest care.

Somewhere in the time of it, the blanket that was

Wrapped around her was pushed slowly 'til it

Folded and piled upon itself and

Became the velvety ridges

Of the mountains that she knew by heart.


And here’s the thing:

What you (both) showed us is as steadfast and

Obvious as those accordion pleated stones.

How it must have been for her, the comfort in your hands,

Robbed of everything and nothing –

Standing against the erosive quality of disease

Triumphant in her choices, in her judgment, fortune, wisdom, and grace.



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