Carol D. Guerrero-Murphy
Spring Teatime, 4 o’clock
We sit in the west courtyard. We chat about the times we have nearly
died over our long lifetimes. Death is a tossed stone. Memory is a pool.
The melanoma incident. The two bloody births. The numerous fatal car
accidents mitigated or avoided. The angioplasty. Open-heart surgeries.
Several resistant staph infections. Three muggings at gunpoint. My
estranged husband’s attack with axe. We omit our dire childhood
diseases, too long ago for consideration. We digress, include several
near deaths of our children from accidents and disease, near deaths
of our nieces (cars, drugs, suicide attempts), the blood clots of our
brother, and so on. We could go on to our parents. If death were fire, to
fight it we would have to light thousands of candles. The ripples from
the death stone expand and multiply, we could be approaching horror.
But we are approaching the image of the two of us floating serenely in
a pond on a hot summer day in the future. We dunk gingersnaps. The
death stone drops into the pool, ripples gently out. We like the sound
of the water. We are alive. We hold each other’s hands this afternoon in
early spring; the sunlight is delicate and barely warm.