Some nights, when the house
was tidied, the dishes washed, and the bed
turned down, waiting, she would
sit awhile in the dark, quiet kitchen
holding a cup of tea, feeling the air moving
through the open window.
She could hear the tree frogs scream
and the long shrieks of cicadas had become
a sort of song, something she loved
without reason, like the moving air,
the dark quiet of her kitchen, her anomalous
place in everything. When she turned her head
she could see moonflowers on the trellis
by her garage, overtaken by a joy so absolute
she would forget for a moment to breathe,
Let me die now.
Please, just let me go.
Author’s comment: This poem was written before my husband’s death, but with a sense of how close that event had become. It was something I could imagine myself feeling at some point in the future.