concentrated stillness

her hands moved with rhythm;
she didn't speak, didn't look, didn't breathe heavy
but she was focused.

and her chair rocked to the beat of her hands.
back. forth. back. forth.
the warmth from the hearth kept me still
and i just watched her.

her heartbeat, her clock and her chair
were all in sync but everything was slowly
fading.

the embers lost their color,
the clock lost its time…
…the air was stagnant, unmoving, unchanging.
the needle stopped, the fire died,
the lights went out…

good-night.

the stillness kissed her lips.
(i knew that in the morning she would wake
ready to make me peaches n' cream oatmeal
and the coffee that i always took black.)

but the concentrated stillness provoked my thoughts.
regret and remorse always snuck into my blood.
but i knew i couldn't be ashamed anymore.
(i needed to be strong like this fragile woman that raised me.)

this fragile body beside me loved me
and the heavenly spirit above me loved me.
(in the stillness i realized learned that
even after hearing it for years)

in the morning, i made her breakfast
i read the Bible to her
and i knitted her the blanket
(our roles had reversed.)

(i didn't just watch our lives go by anymore.)

i followed her wisdom,
i learned to be the one to help her…
after all, she was getting older.

i stopped apologizing; she started smiling
much more beautifully again
(not just out of pure weariness and sympathy.)

and suddenly her yarn wasn't
the only thing warm in the house
(besides the fireplace)
anymore.

our hearts had warmed,
our love for each other was renewed
(and i found faith in a higher power)

more than a higher power,
but also in myself.
(the carbon monoxide from my ashen sins
isn't blackening my lungs any longer.)

…i will always remember all the times
that day and after where i actually reflected
on what she said instead of just letting her words
be a little bit of hope…

the concentrated stillness,
the serenity still possesses me today
(well after the date of her passing.)