Vigil
I am at work.
I am kneading dough,
soft and supple and alive
under my hands.
I am wearing the green apron,
and have flour on my hair.

Two hundred miles away, you are in hospital.
They don’t know if you will live the night.

I am slicing tomatoes,
perfect thin prayer wheels.

I could pack my bag,
drive down through the darkness,
be there long before first light.
You would not know I was there.

The knife is silver, and sharp in my hand.
The steel is cool, and comforting.
The ovens are hot, and I sweat,
weeping through my pores.

There could still be time
to say goodbye.

But I am peeling onions,
their papery skins like dead leaves
under my fingers.
The onions make me cry.