365 Poems/59 Groundwork


I thought that with all that happiness

lining the inside and outside of your body

like set honey, that your fleshy system

would keep going forever.

But you are failing.


I’m unable to comprehend how

your big heart, so full and solid,

can falter and weaken.


But your smile is still like every sunrise

that has ever been.


You still delight in the simple act

of redesigning your responses to the world.

I enjoy hearing these responses


to the smallest things, like what to order

for take away. You make the busy person

on the other end of the phone smile.

I can hear it in their voices.


But one day, soon, you won’t be here.


I have told you in the past that you should

take a break from being so nice, thinking

it would give you more time.


But you smiled at me, like I was the pupil

too busy fidgeting to take in the information.


I want you to write to me, every day,

even if it’s at the back of the book

you aren’t making a special effort

to finish, or in the condensation gathered on

the window pane of your bathroom.


You are sleeping more now, and need

less nourishment. When I go shopping,

I go to the till with an empty basket.

Before, I would have filled it with bread,

milk, jam and bananas.


Even with death hanging over your head,

you go from one joy, straight to the other,

and when I cry, you cradle me, and talk

into my hair about why you are not afraid,

but that you can understand why I am

and that it’s okay.