(For Mike Blatchford)
You asked me once for my prayers for Riley Anne,
I met once in quick passing by the door...
Instead, I see you, careworn, on the floor
Beneath her bed, exhausted, still her man.
I prayed instead for you. Her cancer might
consume, as well, your heart for its desert
And drugs so drag the cleaning up of hurt,
Corrode your courage struggling for light.
The sounds are so damn random: angel's feet
Sweep past despite your breathing and the drip
Of monitors, the slipping of the grip
Keep offering a temporary beat.
There wasn't any more that could be done.
You asked for my prayers yet I had none.
Nik Habermel, October 1997