Smoke and Clarity

Smoke and Clarity
(Inspired by Jeremy Marks’ poem “Smoke Gets in My Eyes”)

Particles dangled on leafy branches.

When a small breeze pushed through,
the particles ‘gathered’
~~~smoke clouds puffing through a 
dense forest.

Walking, wiping my eyes
from particles? from tears?  both!

Laying on the ground
dampened by dew,
the grass—green.
A sudden sense of clarity
I could SEE!

Why rise?
I could stay here.
I cannot stay. I have to go back
into the smoke.

I see him…95 years old.
The particles of his being dissolving.
Some are gathering, readying themselves
to move on from here…
the smoke doesn’t matter to him.
He’s seeing quite clearly.
I touch his hand.

She’s 103…took a fall.
Her hip hurts and she doesn’t want anything done.
She goes to the Chapel
to sit quietly in prayer.
They say she has dementia.
She’s not seeing smoke—her clarity?
I’ll not be a judge.
I kiss her cheek.

The love of his life…the chapters closed.
One last kiss…he’s not pretending it
doesn’t hurt.
A broken heart.  Love does that and he’d
Love all over again…Clarity?  Absolutely!
The only smoke…the illusion of
life without suffering.
The realization of bliss when love holds a heart.

New case of COVID…
relapses even after vaccines.
Brain fog, memory loss, quarantine. AGAIN!

Swelling on the brain…is that COVID?
Smokey here, yet clarity is______________

Particles appear and fade away.
They’ll return— How?   unclear, but
they’ll return
and, too, clarity.

Soon to be 88.
Diabetes, glaucoma…the rising sun~~~
she no longer SEES, yet she feels
the warmth, its touch.  She misses words
so I share stories.  It’s smoky, yet
when she touches my face ALL the 
smoke fades.

A Kindred Soul, in remission, lymphedema
weighs her legs down
drowning her mobility.
She keeps kicking, swimming in smoke, metaphorically.

Lifting herself above the surface,
she whispers aloud each day, in perfect clarity,
“Thank you, thank you for another day.”

A storm breaks
torrential rains.
Smoke WASHED away.
I look out.   Before my eyes,
a bow in the sky, and another.

I rush outside…each color filling the
empty spaces with peace.

I watch it fade—

In everything,
a sense of Pride
the Rainbow IS

—all the colors
washing my eyes dry.

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