in our storm boots the rain-jagged path,
she was inside dying;
it had been one hundred days,
and now it was this one day.
The air was over-full with fern
and unspoken words, redolent
of hill and beast and thorn,
rising from our wet woolens.
The little night wars within her blood
were too far for our reckoning
and yet we sensed the hum and rumble,
the imminence of term.
Without relent, the downpour
kept the creeks full and coursing,
with downed branches snagged
and gathering resistance at the bend.
As hard as it was, crossing, we were grateful
for the song of torrent, surfeit, quenched
momentum, our sound legs, our senses
quickened, liminal, because of and for her.
Inside, under coverlet, she cast her last breaths
like grappling hooks. They clattered and fell.
We were on the stairs then, almost within the circle
of her porch light, almost, but not quite.