More than twenty years ago
I wrote a poem for Nancy
I cant find it or remember it now but
she was scared her cancer had returned
and I thought
she couldn’t be dying because her eyes were still smiling.
These days I call her all the time
tell her my little dramas
and she tells me how she paints the puffy white clouds
start with the white
I may have learned to see
because Nancy made me see
the handful of cherries
a lady handed us
on a stairway
in the moonlight
in Italy

I am becoming more like Harriet too
filling my house, my car, and my heart
so they all might burst
Harriet says she finally knows
that she really does want to keep living
because there is still so much to do
and so much to sort through
her gifts as many as my Mom’s
this sweater, this vase, this clock, this tray with cardinals.
each says, I know you. I love you.
Like when I gave her the nativity set from Mexico
how she kissed Mary and Joseph and Jesus
just like she kissed the lips of the woman’s face
on the hand-carved wooden cup
I found at goodwill
I gave her last night
when she stopped by and saw it on my shelf
picked it out, among everything else
We can’t tell where it is is from
but John would’ve liked it too

I had a dream John was riding a gigantic wholly bear
and he looked down at me with his shiny-eyed-smile
and said without saying,
“Look up more!”
I woke up
my face wet with tears
and
Nancy told me she woke up from a dream last night too
completely understanding that
time passes over us all.

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