Burning Down The Village
I watch each drip of the IV bag hang on as if itís having second thoughts of letting go. Then the inevitable fall, and that amusement park ride in the blue river which navigates beneath your skin, so pale, and diaphanous in the florescence of hospital light. Your sutured chest rises and falls in shallow little deaths. I hold your hand, but Morpheus still has you in his seductive tethers, in his dreamy spell. You float up from anesthesiaís murky depths, up to sound and light, to me. I will build a wall around you with my arms. But will it be enough to protect you? They cut you as they would gut the soft belly of a fish. Next they will raze you to the ground with chemo, the napalm of a cure. They will save the village by destroying it, until reduced to a ghost you will pass right through my grasp. Survival rates waltz around your bed, and mock our plans to buy that farm where long grasses yield in the breeze. I close my eyes and see Guernseys graze in the sun, down by the stone wall overlooking Lake Whitingham. The ridge beyond heads toward Searsburg, and I want us to be there now, walking our dogs. But I feel the old impotence and clawing dread of Vietnam returning once more. Itís 1970 again, and Iím behind the wheel of that runaway truck, hurtling down Highway One, pumping the limp pedal, stomping the lost brakes.