I had a near death experience at the end of my last intensive chemo round. Around 11 pm, my father found me collapsed on the bathroom floor. This poem is for him. Eastbrook
Beyond the sea of trees was a little cabin
where the woods ran out of breath.
You could bury a lonely man there,
or an animal who couldn’t run any more.
I woke up on the bathroom floor.
It was night. It was cold.
My father took my hand
and I couldn’t feel anything, but he didn’t let go.
When he spoke at last,
it was to ask if I knew where I was.
The room had not yet broken into light.
I had such a vision at the end of my life,
the trees turned to flowers of flame,
and saw my grandparents walking
into the water like barefoot angels.
I could say nothing.
I held onto his hand and he to mine,
in that bare little farm house
where the wind lashed all night at our windows.
Now, I sit in some other little room,
knowing the last of the rain horses will fall,
that one day the grass will quit blowing its breath into this morning,
that somewhere, that river still runs.
Some time, I’ll leave the world weighing no more than when I came.
And it won’t be enough,
your hand in mine, mine in yours,
to pull me back from that valley
where the angels sat watching,
without words, without eyes.
Did you have a near-death experience during your cancer treatment? Share it with us in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Jon Flobrant.