Installment 4 of poems from a life lived backwards. This was written on (obviously) Passover of last year, looking back at the previous.
The scar across your belly lies red
and raw, skin still newly knit
after five months. Its healing
is a prayer. With this mark,
on our darkest night, we pray
that death will pass us over.
A week before, we watched
in the infusion room as the drugs
ran in your veins one last time.
We held each other and wept
beside your sleeping body,
prayed this final poison would find
any last secret deadly cells.
A final time, we carried
you, sleeping, to the car, wound
our way down and out
of the claustrophobic parking garage.
We drove out into the relentless traffic
that circled with a thousand desperate fears
around the tight hive of hospitals.
Now we have moved beyond medicine
to where there is only faith.
Faith that the drugs have worked,
that your body is strong, that
there are days ahead
when you’ll again be a little boy
running in bright sunlight
free from dark shadows passing over.