On Looking Back


When I feel my blood slowing

and my lungs sinking toward my spine,

I will not indulge in quiet panic

nor will I bargain for another sunrise.


No, I will recall a temperate August day

with my first love, moving bare through

the calmest lake, our clothes held high

above our heads like flags in a parade.


I will remember the games that children play.

My sister peeling coins of seeds

from a waxy shell, instilling the greatest meaning

in a soft trail of sap found

on a wild cherry’s scratchy bark.


I will picture México and la playa,

my parents hooked arm through arm

before a technicolor sky, awaiting

rooftop meteors to catch light as I

try to capture the cosmos on film.


I will think back to a thousand white mountain

powder days, catching air in waves on skis

or dodging trees on trails that lead to

silent empty bowls of snow.


When I feel my vision dim down and

my limbs turn light, I will not resist my final breath.

I’ll be awash in the glow of happier times-

the beauty of knowing I did exist.



Photo is one I took of Blanca Lake this summer.