Saturday, 10/19/2013

Once again I was caring 
for my dying mother. She was 
small, shrunken as one would
expect, even in a dream. 

Someone offered an ideal 
place in which to die. Large 
bedroom with picture window, 
view of a plain, edged by 
tall spruce trees. Maybe Wyoming
or Washington state. A hospice
room painted by Hopper.

I returned to find her slid down 
towards the edge of the bed, 
her body stiffening, but not yet 
gone. Arranged her in a comfortable 
position, pulled up a blanket 
to warm her. 

Not the right view. Should've been
tropical. Mango trees, umbrella 
ferns, heat, even mosquitos. Surrounded
by the talk and the smell of a large
family, neighbors too. Movement; 
cousins, nephews, nieces, family pig
grunting in its earthen den 
under the house.

The horse whose name I can't remember
had slid into a depression in the soft 
earth under the fence. We pulled
her sweating body back up. She 
looked around, eyes still wild. The colt 
and the sire, Lobito, looked too; 
colt sensing something wrong
in the temperature, the arrangement
of limbs, the sour scent, a general lack
of response, and milk.

From my bookshelf

With all its eyes the creature
sees the open. Our eyes alone are
as if turned back, and placed all around,
like traps, encircling its free escape.

—Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Eighth Elegy,” The Duino Elegies

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