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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For John, Who Died Anyway

Leaves pasted together 
by dew   carpet the path 
across the meadow.  
Twigs snap under your boots.
You stride out    head high    push 
challenge   stare down the cancer 
that   robbed you   first of a 
kidney   then a lung.  
I clamber after you 
up a steep hill   jeans wet 
to the knees.  You pause   
lean on your stick   suck air 
march toward the gurgle of   
the periwinkle spring.
Winded   I scramble   half-jog  
struggle to keep up
uproot vines to plant at
my back door   a symbol 
of your strength this day.  
Across the road   the smell
of wet hay penetrates
our noses.  Your stick a sword 
you lash at underbrush
lead me through a thicket 
to the creek   point out 
mountain laurel in bloom. 
I snap blossoms   bunch them
in a bouquet of sorts.
Tiring   you tug in 
a broken breath   attack 
the hill as I scramble 
alongside   take your hand
never a thought that you
would die.

© cj  Schlottman
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