The Gift of Strangers


I am grateful for those strangers

who carry my grief in kindness,

those who shoulder it with no thought,

just a sharp awareness of the ache of death

whirling inside as I balance between

cancer and despair, the wondering of the

value of a cure in a world becoming corpse.


They pull me away from myself with

nurses’ caresses,  children smiles,

those few  holding the glass door

open until I pass the threshold

while they sing quietly to themselves,

all Atlases bearing milliseconds of ache

in the chain of Christ’s example.


I have called them and they have called me,

kindness birthing kindness, rearing kindness,

each reaching towards, backwards, forwards,

determined to keep me from myself

and the the temptation to step off the edge

that calls me and them, all knowing that Atlas

never had  the solace of conquering death.