It’s 3:00 a.m. and I am awake
like I am so many other nights.
My first thought is,
“Of course, the moment his heart
I am tugged out of the escape of sleep.
The house is dark
and so quiet.
I get up, walk to the bathroom,
walk back to bed,
waiting for sleep to return.
It’s 3:00 a.m. and time moves slowly,
when there was still hope,
when the phone rang and
in a foggy confusion I got
in the car.
It’s 3:30 a.m. I am still awake,
watching minutes tick by,
noticing the light of the moon
through the window shades.
It’s 3:30 a.m. and I run,
the hospital to Urgent Care.
Missing the pronouncement
by only one minute.
It’s 4:00 a.m. and the mockingbird
is singing as I try
fruitlessly to return to slumber.
There isn’t enough air.
The room is too light,
the blankets too warm, and
the pillow offers no comfort.
It’s 4:00 a.m. and the hospital room is full,
of family, friends, support.
But, it is empty too,
of a life, of a future.
The nurses say, “It’s time to go.”
The doctor’s say, “We must clear the room.”
But how can we move when time is standing
It’s 4:30 a.m. and my mind won’t stop
thinking about this different life
filled with decisions I make alone,
about paint colors, room designs,
coordinating the arrival of cabinets,
the avoiding of packing
my old life and deciding what to take
into the new life.
It’s 4:30 a.m. and we are leaving
the hospital room,
lingering in hallways,
not ready to head home,
away from the place
where hope once lived.
It’s 5:00 a.m. and exhaustion is
Sleep is slowly returning
and it doesn’t matter that the bed
is too big or
that the bird is still mocking.
It’s 5:00 a.m. and we are all exhausted
by the disbelief,
coming home to the whirlwind of
plans and decisions.
eating bagels, drinking coffee,
We are waiting for planes to arrive,
for cars to bring everyone
our eyes aching, dry and red.
Multiple empty boxes of Kleenex
dotting the house.
It’s 6:00 a.m. and morning is near, but I cling
Just a few more minutes…
The sounds of other birds begin now,
robins, finches, the occasional cry of a hawk or crow.
They beckon me to rise, eyes opening again.
It’s 6:00 a.m. and it feels like
A thousand hours have passed.
3:00 a.m. is a lifetime away.
Time is divided into before and after.
Information is being gathered,
preparations are being made,
prayers are sent and phone calls break the stunned silence.
It is 6:15 a.m. and
the sun rises.
It is a new day and the need to crawl
back to sleep is over.
This is the first day of a new life,
another day of a new life.
A blend of old and new,
memories, hopes, the unknown and maybe
there are still