Fluorescent beams blinded me
as did unexpected loss
that sixteenth summer spent
watching “Soul Train” with Grandma
who, cancer devouring her,
liked to watch young people dance
and dream of a second chance.
The waiting room, cold chamber,
hell’s cacophony – no place
for those clinging to heaven’s hope
or praying for miracles.
Inevitable, the end
of the dance, close of the show.
We took last commercial break.
Countdown to death always slow,
even as it sneaks up and
surprises those of us left
waiting for news of its triumph,
desperate to recapture
what so soon has been taken –
or, in love, to dim the lights.