by Jill Crainshaw
I am his heart,
beat beating heart.
Perhaps you have seen the photographs.
Such a peaceful visage. Still
by the beat beat beating
A hawk-moth hummingbird mid-air
in the picture window
to kiss a moonflower’s awakening ear,
as nectar of paradise
thrums through quivering wings.
eleventh hour of a twelve hour shift,
pauses. Looks out through the window
turns inward. Tender
eyes alight on his face. She touches two fingers
to a small wrist.
She counts my pulsating surges
thirteen fourteen fifteen
Mama cradles the child whose
body cradles me. I am
Suspended in a tornado’s eye. Still.
She hears me
as another night ascends and
falling rain begins to
beat beat beat
on the window pane.
* * * * *
Author's Note: "Still Life" is a poem I wrote just prior to Charlie Gard's death. The poem is a kind of persona poem written from the perspective of Charlie's heart. My own heart aches for Charlie's family.
Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She enjoys exploring how words give voice to unexpected ideas, insights and visions.