Saturday, 13 June 2020

Navigating Hospice

by Pamela Warren Williams

“I was going back to reclaim Scotland.” you said.
“Were you, now?” “Aye.”
Would this be our last shared laugh?
I had brought out the blade
with the brass and fruitwood handle
from your altar. The endless
treasure hunt for more of your stories.
Did you tell me of its past? I can’t recall.
And now there will be time. Unending time
stretching towards some hazy horizon.
Time for immersion in all your writing
that I don’t yet know.
Our dear disciplined Phillip read Flight Feathers
cover to cover, so delighted in your shared bond.
Some of your history just too sad to absorb.
I’ve subscribed to your theory that too much
sentiment detracts from being in the moment.

You said that you’re taking flight today, in fact.
You’ve leaned into the process of letting your
car go, enough to smile at my packing snacks
and water for the tow truck driver from Albuquerque.
One of the perfect pairs gifted for our union.
A couple of Julia’s ginger cookies.
Surrendering the helm,
with tasks accomplished, and
some peace at last.

Such a tumultuous voyage, this
life journey of yours.
Surely more than your allotment
of challenges. So many lives so
courageously conquered.
And then the mentoring. Blessings
strewn to so many along your path.

The pinnacle of it all? This precious, sacred year.
Plotting our shared course, with gratitude
and awe for each day. Humbled by this gift,
this legacy of intentions to fulfill,
awareness and kindness to spread,
my own summit beckoning, as I wrap you in such
boundless love for your journey.

* * * * *

Author's Note: The conversion of two poets, both with fierce determination, culminated in a month of hospice preceding my husband's transition. That rich, beautiful, awful, impossible time included moments of reverence, endless logistics, our long-intended wedding, a native pipe ceremony, and conversations through the veil. This poem offers the reader a glimpse into the liminal world of that time.

Pamela Warren Williams is a poet and artist, with a fine art/design background, and a lifelong habit of artistic expression. Her heartland upbringing preceded thirty expansive years in the San Francisco area, where the vibrant culture and her antique business offered a parade of provocative fodder for her voice. New Mexico’s extreme contrasts and rich history now fuel alchemical inspiration, feeding her current writing/assemblage work and her first collection of poetry, ‘Hair on Fire’, at amazon.com Her writing is most recently driven by the loss of her husband, inspiring diving more deeply into the miracles of this journey.


  1. A truly enviable love bleeds out of these carefully perfect words. I feel honored for the privilege of reading them.

  2. Bless you! I honor Stewart today on what would have been his 70th birthday! Thank you for your kind and luminous words and love! Eve