Magazine March 22, 2021, Issue

The Wind Chimes

(May594/Getty Images)

The wind chimes usher in
the night snow, soon to turn
to rain; Mother is fading badly
in the nursing home nearby.
My wife’s brother died in our
rear sitting room, after
a long illness on such a night
a few years ago, but much colder,
longer ago than I remember.
Mother remembers, sometimes
with a strange open clarity,
bouts of contentment;
sometimes with eyes of misery,
a snow-distant sadness,
she a child of nighttime sadness,
irresolution, vacant-eye awareness,
unable to walk, or stand,
a weight lifted from wheelchair,
to chair, to bed, my sister’s flowers
a thread of cheerfulness,
lovely sweaters, family blankets,
something of love in the sadness,
as in clouds coming home.
The chimes persist, the snow
a light coating, already …

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