Waiting Room

Watching the wind grab the snow
with bunched fists
and scatter it across the lapis sky
above the distant ridgeline
it’s like the breath of some god
made manifest before our eyes.

And indeed, the breath of some god
is what we are all waiting for
here, in the hospital,
where the chemo patients sit
in armchairs looking out
through giant windows
at nature’s cruel majesty,
which is cell by undying cell
gradually doing them in.

The older ones
you can tell yourself –
natural. If not cancer, then the flu,
heart attack, stroke.

It’s when you see an eight-year-old
walking stoically out of radiation
that the tears finally come to your eyes.

We are all victims
in the end
but only some get to be angels
with footprints so light
they have already blown from the earth
by the time the rest of us
have driven home.

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