by Irene McKinney
I remember a Sunday with the smell of food drifting
out the door of the cavernous kitchen, and my serious
teenage sister and her girlfriends Jean and Marybelle
standing on the bank above the dirt road in their
white sandals ready to walk to the country church
a mile away, and ready to return to the fried
chicken, green beans and ham, and fresh bread
spread on the table. The sun was bright and
their clean cotton dresses swirled as they turned.
I was a witness to it, and I assure you that it's true.
I remembered this thirty years later as I got
up from the hospital bed, favoring my right side
where something else had been removed.
Pushing a cart that held practically all of my
vital fluids, I made my way down the hall
because I wanted to stand up, for no reason.
I had no future plans, and I would never
found a movement nor understand the
simplest equation; I would never chair the
Department of Importance. Nevertheless,
I was about to embark on a third life, having
used up the first two, as I would this one,
but I shoved the IV with its sugars and tubes
steadily ahead of me, passing a frail man in a hospital
gown pushing his cart from the other direction.
Because I was determined to pull this together,
hooking this lifeline into the next one.
photo from: angelsroostquilts.com