There will be a time for silence at last.
When it comes, the folded pink paper will be
studied intently, a gloved finger running
down the edge to confirm what was foretold.
Your daughters will clasp your hands
and whisper through their tears, yes,
this is what he wants. Your wife will kiss
your forehead and nod – Go ahead. Your
grunting breaths will soften,
your chest slowing to stillness.
Perhaps it will be a snowy day, quiet flakes
drifting past your window. Only time will tell.
But for now, the holiday will be brighter
with you at home. Your wife will smile
across the table, your daughters passing
plates of a hastily-cooked feast, giving thanks
for the gift of your presence. You will beam
at all of them from under the brim
of your baseball cap, your garbled words
falling on ears that rejoice to hear. When
your eyes reach mine, I can tell
that you know this time is a luxury. But
perhaps, in this moment, it is time enough.
Allison Shen is a third-year medical student at the University of Rochester. Despite her chronic writer’s block, she dreams of becoming a physician-writer someday. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling. She has previously co-edited and been published in murmur and The Archive.
Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels.