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.