Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ingrid Wendt: "Give Us This Day"

Just as everyone knows the end might come without warning
Any morning, the usual intersection and someone running the light,
Or maybe a gun in the cafeteria. Suitcase exploding. Fuselage
Simply missing one simple bolt. And we know not
To dwell on these thoughts, to survive.

Just as when my older friend was dying, and knew it, saying
I've learned what I wish I'd known all my life, and I wanted to
Know her secret and didn't ask, so sure of having one last chance.
This much I've learned: Savor it. This daily bread.
What if this were our last day alive?

So, too, you with your own secret ticking, lab tests predicting
Tomorrow the beats all of us count on could stop.
With proper exercise, diet, maybe
Not for a year. Or two.
Or more.

Each moment, remember. Each moment, forget.
Systole. Diastole.
Push. Pull.
Dear one,
whose heart knows and won't tell.

"Give Us This Day" by Ingrid Wendt. Published online by Weber Studies (Winter 2004). © Ingrid Wendt.

Many thanks to subscriber Mark Palinski for suggesting this poem for our collection.  

Art credit: "Beating Heart," fractal manipulation by Celemiri.

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