Though I Leave You, Please Don’t Leave Me Alone

for Evelyn Griggs, 1923 -2017

My 93 years
haven’t prepared me;
they have let me
down.

And now,
in this hospital room,
all sharp edges
are liquid, and
(don’t you see?)
the way out
is a direction
I don’t care
to take.

Yesterday you smiled
when I,
the southern lady you
think I am,
whispered,
“Life’s a crock.”
You watched
a glint dance
in the slant
of my eyes.

But now,
you despair
when all food
I refuse.

My heart vibrates
according to laws that
cannot accommodate
the renegade sleep
I crave.

I am closing all doors here
one by one — the windows too.
This room is darker now
with just you and me.

Light is only relevant
in the place of my sisters
who have passed before me.

But though I am leaving you here
in the time of earth—
for just a little longer, please,
don’t let me be
alone.

Don Cadwallader

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