Friday, April 21, 2017

Tug of War

wednesday night I was up
at 3 a.m.
I had been sleeping
for four minutes
I woke up
disoriented and confused

I am taking this drug
It makes me groggy

Candice was in a chair
next to my bed
Jackie asleep
in her bed
next to mine

I was moaning loudly
Jackie woke up
I was trying to figure out
what I was supposed to do

in my mind
were the letters
C and S

I was so out of it
I wanted to move my body
but didn’t know how

I realized there were two things
I could do with my body
I could either lie there
my arms spread out
or I could pee

I kept thinking
I was supposed to
be doing something else

Jackie and Candice
were trying to bring me back
I was telling them
they were asking me
to do things I could no longer do
I was being pulled
to the other side

they asked me questions
about the day before
I knew the answers
I did not remember
falling asleep
I did not remember
using the ventilator

there was a noise in the kitchen
Andrew was getting a glass of water
Candice brought him into the room
the three of them
sat me on the side of the bed
for a reset

they took me to the bathroom
then got me back into bed
we joked and laughed
Candice went to sleep
Andrew went back to bed
leaving Jackie and me alone

I looked at Jackie who was sitting
next to me on the side of the bed
I said, kiss me
we kissed slowly
over and over again

I told her
I choose celebration over suffering


  1. This is a beautiful poem Mark. Love you.

  2. Sending you big love tonight from all of us

  3. I'm inspired to live bigger while I'm here, Mark. I must. You've inspired me.

    - Karin Mittelstaedt

  4. I am reading your poetry backwards. I started with your older work (recently posted) and now am reading back through--(I am a slow--yet savoring reader!). How heartening to see beauty and humor still intertwined in your writing. I will keep reading backwards and absorb this way of living conveyed through your words. Thank you again for sharing these words and this tender life with your beautiful family.

  5. This is incredible. Vivid. Embodying. Mystical. Loving

  6. Thank you, brave, fierce soul
    For sharing life vividly
    Daily ups and downs