Free

January 12, 2009
By Joshua Garnett, Clarkston, MI

Free

The snow whips sensitively around
Freezing concrete
under my bare feet
five A.M. on December 12
“You’re home”
Finally your spirit is free

Wind was whipping around the small group of us
standing around on the sidewalk
most without shoes, all without coats

Watching the small woman
pushing the stretcher into the back of the waiting car
The sun was rising
but would have been hidden behind a thick veil of clouds,
as if the morning was mourning with us
Now your spirit is free

This bitter night was a long time coming
endless visits to doctors, hospitals
and lots of pain,
the snake like scar across your hairless head
except for that patch on your forehead
Purplish marks on your arm,
chemo made your skin so delicate
even a tickle caused a bruise
But now your spirit is free

The small dome light in the back of the car
illuminated your face
That peaceful look, the pain had left
Like the stage lights at the end of an act, light slowly dimmed,
As did that chapter in your life,
Mine too


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