If words were pictures, I’d see them there,
A string of suspended steps
sunk into the sky.
Mine, a stairway—
I said goodbye and went on…
Climbing upward, upward.
Yours—a thousand steps, but ground-level, flat;
stretching forward in a solitary line.
You said, “I almost died,”
then put one foot in front of the other and continued to live,
one painful step at a time.
Those steps transported you away,
slowly moving forward like a train.
The rolling rumble carrying you along
as you survive, just barely.
Your words trail off in the distance
with the sorry, sad sound of worn out wheels,
and I’m left standing by the tracks
tasting smoke, listening to the faint, fading whistle
while you die.
A friend told me the other day it was finally official, the divorce papers had come.
“It’s really no surprise, she said, “it was like watching something slowly die.”
I thought about the last conversation I had with another friend, who ended his email with the words, “I’m still here, just hanging on.”
He sounded like he was going to die–not give up the ghost and pass away–but a slow, soul death, made even more painful by his choices.
Choosing death instead of life is a series of daily decisions,
slowly moving us towards God or away from Him.
There was nothing I could say that would revive him, breathe life into his grey, so I did what I normally do when I can’t process life–I picked up a pencil and wrote this.