• Marian Glaser

Coping

By Marian Glaser © October 2004


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When screams awake me I know where I am:

not in some Hell depicted by Bosch but

in this institute surrounded by the slowly dying.

Each life path traces a line, bulges,

thickens into maturity, dies down again

and goes back to a line.

Needs for care are at both ends of the life-bulge.

Death stalks, striking random blows,

leaving some past their century while

taking others at fifty after much pain.

I sit here in my wheelchair

and cope, cramming my moments with life.

I merge with the dolphin leaping high on my calendar

or the flower-hatted cats walking paw in paw beside it.

Pain drowns some, making them resent

the ones that stay afloat.

Sometimes my pain and the deaths can’t

be counterbalanced, but even then

being taken to an orchard or park

can absorb me, keeping me in this moment.

So can contemplating the mystery

of a seed turning into

a full-grown plant.

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