6. Do not regret what you have done.

Poetry

(from Dokkodo, Volume 1; The Way of Walking Alone)

Pop saw lights
in the corner of the ceiling
the day
we made the decision
to take him
off life
support.

His final heart
beat was at
11:14pm.
74 years, 335 days
after his first.

It was Mami Lucy’s birthday.
The lights appeared
at 1:49pm

earlier that day.

9 months later
Tia Luisa walked
towards
Tri-City Dialysis Center,
5 minutes after
dropping off
Mami Lucy.

She waited at the bench
next to the sliding
doors.
Tia Luisa imagined
Mami Lucy as a little girl.

Paramedics took 9 minutes
to receive the call,
drive one block,
reach the dialysis center,
park.

Mami Lucy was declared brain damaged
2 hours later,
oxygen not reaching her brain
3 minutes too long
after her heart stopped
mid-dialysis.

All our family was there
in the first hour of learning
Mami Lucy was in the hospital.
At 5:39pm
we witnessed her final breath.

Small birds are known to die within weeks
when they lose their mate.
Especially Love Birds.

Their song stops.
Another’s response is not
enough.

It’s the short moments
of silence that kills
them.

It’s the missing fights,
the vanished companionship
in the dark,
the absent caricia.

We live on.

We live on.

Trying not to remember that you’re gone
too often.
The regret that we can’t share our lives with you
anymore
is easier to avoid.

This poem is part of my last poetry and photography chapbook, “Dokkodo; Volume 1—The Way of Walking Alone” available online at http://mkt.com/smiley-faze.

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