Between one breath and the next,
that quick, that labored. The snow
having fallen, fallen, fallen
into flakes and all the mistakes
having melted with them. Dissolved,
if not absolved of them. The fingers
still drumming the taut surface
of a table. Not his, a son’s, a grand-
daughter’s? The reassuring echo
of his snare drum vibrating some-
where down the hallway. Two
marriages tucked into one life,
making money, making music, making
the roses and the blueberries
survive another Minnesota winter.
Having survived a near drowning
as a kid, a solitary stumble off
a cliff, and walking pneumonia
like the dog, around the block,
down the road, along that long,
lonesome highway. To roll over
now, he may fall off—the bed,
the edge— lose his equilibrium.
One last glance at his wife’s face,
her pale halo of love uplifting.