That’s the way it goes

from my booklet “words within 2018”

this is the way life goes,
i'm steaming up winter wheatberries, roasting a pan of mixed vegetables
(sweet potato, onion, red pepper, celery)
these will go with "whatever else" for the next four days, as that's my cooking style.
i start to think of you (well, i am cooking - what else could it be?)

you have been on my mind today
is this some sort of telekinetic communication, or just coincidence?
doesn't matter. you just come to mind today.

i can see on social media that you're getting precious time with grand-kids.
in my mind i send happy face emojis to you.
and i wonder how K is surviving her second pregnancy,
hopefully better than the first with preclampsia,
which brought a heightened awareness to all.
the march of time brings this new birth nearer.

i haven't talked to you in awhile, so you don't know yet
that our dear friend J has gone completely blind.
"Nerve damage" the doctor tells her. "irreparable" she says.
Her voice, on the phone, holds together with the strings of our friendship,
despite the many frayings she has faced in the last 6 months.

losing her life partner, lifeline and now
her sighted world...
i have no words, i can not fathom that,
this is beyond any reality i could imagine for her.

i try, i lay awake at night trying to understand, losing
bits and pieces 
of your world, in this manner.
the march of time is unforgivingly unfair.

which brings Uncle A into my thoughts.
we all secretly wish we would age graciously, just getting old and dying one day,
no suffering, no labour, no mental loss
in between those two states,
the curtain comes down in act one,
and this body is gone when the curtain rises in act two.

especially for those who have lived a life of kindness
to all the world around them.
they are driving down the road to their next experience, 
and their heart stops. the end. no major drama.

few are fortunate to achieve that fate.
for most, it is the slow watching (and denying) as bits of you,
bits of you that you unconsciously depended on,
become inoperable
the march of time has a strange sense of humor, a dropped foot and a walking chair.

the winter wheatberries are cooling now, as i stir the pan of vegetables,
halfway to cooked.
outside the kitchen window i watch the fading colors as the sun sets,
i light a candle and say a prayer
(as i have done each evening since P's son died)
all of us face unknown odds.
the march of time surges forth while we stay dressed in search of equanimity.