Primary Children’s Hospital
I promise her that snow will come soon.
Already, the sky breathes clouds in choking circles
gray around the edges.
They shift uneasily between the mountain ridges
as her body shifts beneath white sheets, as her
fingers agitate upon the bedclothes
and at the edges of her hair.
The aspens have turned early.
“A sure sign,” I tell her.
Soon they will shelve their expectations of dance
and lean their musty arms together
to brave a wind too heavy.
When snow comes,
they will define the shape of things,
howling in their ragged coats,
hollowing out places on the hillside,
holding the outline white with the absence of gold.
Rooted to the floor, something in me
beats against the corners of the ceiling,
hovers at that distance, sees
her pupils dilate,
her fingers grip the nebulized lifeline,
her sentences cut into syllables
as she tries to talk, the
blood pounding at her temples
like the lungs in her distended chest.
Clouds hang ragged
and pieces of them shred in icy shafts.
All around, the weight and the wheezing
©2000 Sundy Watanabe
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