You’re under anesthesia’s spell,
and I’m in the Appalachians.
Won’t let my movie-mind play
can’t second guess
the Plan for an 85-year-old,
so I’ll think of us last week—
shopping, lunching, sampling key lime pie.
In your Florida garden, I recited my new poems,
you clapped, believing in me as always.
My brother just called: You made it through.
I know what you look like in ICU, so tiny
in a trap of wires and tubes,
hardly my mother at all.
I’ll change the film to us on the beach:
You grasp my arm, lean into me.
We watch sanderlings sprint
from white-hot sands
to the brink
Permission to reprint granted to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc., and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc., by copyright author/owner.