Never before has the light been so diffuse,
the shallow breath so desperate,
the militancy in the orders so clear.
She flies to the side of the dying,
throat fitted with a tube miraculous,
enabling, and deadly, lungs shuffling
out of commission, voice stopped.
This is the one who stood without
complaint, the architect of her childhood,
borrowing to give her enough, promising
the rain would end or at least the mist
would cease to matter against the rising
horns of the mountains beside them.
There are others, but none so familiar.
And as the family seeps into the room,
whoever is left gathers will and faith
and whatever else can fit into her
hands and gives up the pulse to the gods.
Alisha Goldblatt is an English teacher and writer living in Portland, Maine. She has published several poems in Midstream Magazine, a poem in the Georgetown Review, and a recent essay in Mothers Always Write. Last spring, Alisha published a children’s book, Finding a Way, about her son’s rare chromosomal disorder and the beauty of acceptance.