10-Line Tuesday

April 17, 2018

anything with a zero

A few days ago, on the phone with my sister, I asked, "Which do you think
is the bigger deal, turning 70 or 75?" as we discussed our mother, less than a week away
from cresting the edge of the former. "Anything with a zero is a big deal,"
she answered, and then I couldn't help but think about the slim span of days
that separated Dad from that magic number and kept the lid on a celebration I nevertheless
keep imagining, the same way I picture summer and its curving breezes
just as November winces from its first frost. And yet, at our father's bedside, 
there wasn't room for anything but the present tense. Instead, we welcomed each breath,
no matter how deep or shallow, as if it were the only one, time suspending its advance
with such generosity and grace, even the clock stopped ticking.