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.