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HomePoetry Storiesfor my father in ICU

for my father in ICU

before this day has been written

It's early morning the day before Thanksgiving.

There came about 8 more inches of snow

overnight. There's almost an expectant hush, like

something more than dawn lies over the horizon.

Although there's no moon, it's luminous. Starlight

shimmers off the heavy drifts, painting broad

glowing brushstrokes over sleeping yards. Each

bared branch and branchlet draped in layers, white

satin evening wraps about to slip off shoulders to

the floor, if the trees should shrug - all on the verge

of melting so that the wet, black boughs knit

remaining darkness against the light to give some

shape to what we see. Like you beneath your

blankets and limned in glow of monitors. The

squirrels are dreaming in their nests. No one stirs

yet. The whole landscape is clean, untracked, and

the quiet is so heavy as to hush the echoes of

occasional cars in the wet streets a few blocks

over, or the whispered conversations of oxygen

and IV drips. One can almost forget the year, that

machines and lights are an ordinary part of

everyday life, that industry has ever passed this

way, that the various tubes going in and out of you

are not your branches dreaming of spring buds

and waiting to leaf, or that we conspire

to continue. It's quite

beautiful. And I'm thinking of you. And when you

come home, healing, you can know this, too.

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