Today I prayed for the young woman
whose husband after a difficult illness died.
I didn’t pray for him though I have
for months, not knowing should I beg
for more time, plead for a quick release
from stranglehold of limitations
or just leave it up to God.
I cannot imagine the wife’s grief.
Never again to sit in vigil at the hospital
where he struggled in his narrow bed to breathe
to speak, to keep up hope. No more
medical opinions, desperate measures
to keep infection from a body robbed
by assaults on blood cells gone berserk
of its immunity. In future
when she wakes, if there is sun,
it will shine on places he once occupied.
Shadows will fall on hills he need no longer climb.
In case of rain, forest paths she walked with him
will be as filled with water as her eyes. At every turn
sorrow will greet her. Let it be portioned out
in decreased doses, sweetened with the season’s
first blue crocus, a returned robin singing
at her morning window. A tincture of light.