Workshop: Diane M. Laboda’s “It begins with…”

It begins with…

months of fighting
the good, expected fight
with doctors and drugs and tubes
and chairs that move by themselves.

And then it all stops.
Her last breath is the moment before
and then it isn’t.
I am no longer a child with parents.
I am alone.

I never expected the sinking feeling—
even with her long illness that drags on
and gives me time to prepare.
It puts me in a deep, dark pit
with little will to climb out.

I try to claw my way up for air, light,
but my crushed heart inflates
ever so slowly over decades.
No one else sees and no one cares.
No one conjures words of comfort.

The world keeps spinning past
in a blur of rote motion. I wobble along
imperfect, disabled, empty.
I will forever keep trying to gather
myself back together.

by Diane M. Laboda 8-26-17

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