There's a moment in the visiting when everyone knows
time is short
and they dash to make the small pilgrimage
to the familiar door
before it's too late.
Everyone respectful and kind,
trying to say exactly the right set of words,
so she doesn't know you know she's dying.
And then you leave by the same door,
looking back to see if it has changed while you said goodbye.
Not knowing how many goodbyes there will be
or how many you can take.
as if you wished them dead.
When what you wish is them,
back to you and whole and in the place
where you were smaller and they held your hand and nothing could be further away
than a fixed ending.
And all you had to do to see them was come downstairs in the morning
Or walk up from school
Or cross the little patch of street
Between your house and theirs.
Having no idea that this goodbye fades and the other times glow,
Wakened into life as the years pass,
Taking you by the hand still, here and here,
Where we spoke of all those things
No one else heard.
You put out a hand,
expecting to touch the same old door,
with the feel of sun on it,
paint warm and shining,
going in once more
Calling your name
So they know you're here.
©Amanda J Harrington 2015
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