Sharing Life and Death

Was it an echo reverberating back through Time?

What did I hear
in the silence between heartbeats?

Why did I cry
so spontaneously
at such an inappropriate moment?

How did I know
what I could never, ever
have realized?

I asked you to walk me down the aisle
twenty-two and a half years before
you asked me to walk down the same aisle
for you.

Of course, I was crying—
Long before I knew what you would suffer,
Long before your diagnosis,
Long before your death.

I cry now too.

What did we know then?
You holding back your tears
while mine spilled freely?

Could you have imagined the echo?
No, not then, not ever.

I knew that I felt alone
while surrounded by those who loved me most.

What do I know?
What can I know?
What will I know
when I admit all that can be known?

Did I hear an echo?
Did time warp around itself?
Why do I wish I could go back
with the understanding I now embody?

Poem by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion