Grandma & Dad Go to Their Hospitals on the Same Day for Life Threatening Medical Issues
// Foster Neill
The stream is lower, and slower, since the melt is over. That water is miles south, and only a weak current still passes, the way a lost thought lacks drive. From up where I am, hundreds of feet away, the low sun splits the calm surface — one half, reflection: tree trunks cropped by the steep muddy banks — the other, shadow: revealing the yellow, sandy bed beneath. A spring breeze picks up, rushes through unbudded trees and sends wind chimes clamoring with returning birds’ calls. Last fall’s now matted leaves, thin from snow, peal dry and flutter in the wind like the old plastic carpet made by his long dead mother that still lies in his bathroom. Here and there, dirty patches of snow linger, remainders of embankments left by plows. My lungs fill with updrafts, and my feet lift with the newly thawed dirt. No longer confined to the warmth of my home, I might easily forget the dark, cold days just past, forget the long days of her asleep in her chair, drooling with a lollipop stuck to her sweater. The squirrels’ shrill chirps tell of green Michigan summers. I can smell it, too, even on the cold wind that still comes at night. It’s as if nothing were coming to an end, only beginning. As if, in all this, I am just a cloud shifting upwards, warming in these lengthening days of sun.