My head barely covers
the worn halo on your chair
where yours used to rest.

I can see you here,
your hand on your chest
counting the last beats of your heart,
praying for God to take you home.

You lived so gently,
let me sit on your knee
until my feet could reach the floor.

Your wide farm hands
were strangely soft, covering mine
as I drifted to sleep
in the sound of your heartbeat.

Enough (part II)

Your bald head fit perfectly in my palm,
and the first time you opened your eyes,
you saw me.

I had just awakened from a dream
I’d been having my whole life
to find that it was true.

It was you.

My world tilted to meet
the lazy lean of your head,
and I used my wrist as your neck.

You yawned,
the jet-lagged yawn of birth,
not yet knowing what it is to be awake.

I watched in wonder as you slept,
your first real breaths
an imperfect rhythm.

Nine months of doubt
were cast away in a moment
as my knuckle brushed your velvet cheek,
and for the first time,
I trusted myself not to fail.

Enough (part I)

I hold your bald head in my hand,
your cheekbone pressed against my palm.
I wipe away the line of sweat
from where your eyebrows used to be.

A new sun begins to creep
through the blinds.
We made it through another night.

I tear yesterday from the calendar,
knowing the ripping won’t stir you
from your drug-soaked sleep.

The calendar marks the 20th day
of many yet to come
away from home, retching in your sleep,
fighting in your dreams the
relentless cells the doctors call “cancer.”

If only one word could summarize
the relief I wake to when I see
your chest rise and fall.

Your ring doesn’t fit anymore.
Your fingers swelled exponentially
as your legs began to atrophy,
so I brought a picture of us at sunset
the day we took our youngest to college.
It will never grow too big for the frame.

Your friends call, say How is she? and
When is she coming home?
My optimism chokes me, and I cry,
if I can, when I’m alone.

Blog at

Up ↑