Musings #48 Second Poem in "Shrinking into Infinite Sky"

EMPTYING

The old woman’s throat opens

after long holding in words, all the untold.

Something has been set in motion, a quickening

along the reluctant approach to death.

A bold curse issues. Accusation rises

in a dream of dark faces, voices

emanating from shadow.

To be special, unique in this world

– what we all harbor?

At worst to be spared the indignity of soiled diapers.

Returned to infantile.

But her shit is not sweet breast-fed,

her buttocks not smooth as peaches.

To our surprise, she is granted a long reprieve.

Night birds deny stench and sour stomach,

praise beauty. Still a chance

to clear out the cluttered closet, to embrace

the once-rejected. At last,

at ease before the arc of the unfolding.