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17 years

a normal work morning turns into eight hours of buzzing oxygen alarms, snaking IV lines constricting around her body, a cacophony of bedside questions and directions and squeaky wheelie beds...


... it's 17 years later... and 17 years ago... my mind is caught between the then and now, synapses tangled, tripping over new thoughts and tattered memories... and it's the same damn waiting room...


... listening between my own heartbeats to grasp the words falling from the surgeon's lips... I have held my breath for my daughter and now my mother... because the oxygen-depriving madness will help... of that I am most certain...


...and ten hours later I am home... sweat pouring from me... the internal pressure valves release and the titanium walls of alleged self-protection relax their grip... dismantling their steadfast protective stance over my heart... leaving it exposed... billboardless...


Whoosh!


... the steam leaves my body as the effects of the day rush in... seeping into every muscle... as a blanket of exhaustion drapes itself over my shoulders, welcoming me home...


... and I am frozen to the ground outside... eyes closed, ears open, face tilted to the sky... as the falling flakes kiss my cheeks, the night sky is crying for me... pristine, snowy teardrops alight upon my lashes...


... Mother Nature weeping crystalline as my proxy...

.

.

... ironic...

.

.

...as my own tears have not seemingly flowed...

.

.

... in 17 years.


~H.



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