To a dying friend

What pain you have known,

you who now lives

in the shadow

of death’s heavy door.


It is a pain as heavy

and relentless

as ballast,

and as steadfast

as a demon whose

sworn purpose is

to destroy life

and dispel the drips

of hope.


You bear this dark


with a half-smile

and a half-grimace,

emerging from

a place

uncomfortably between

fear and joy.


Oh my dying friend,

how I wish,

in this heavy world,

I could lift this yoke

and take a little

for now,


on myself.


I sit with you

and hold that

tense and gentle hand

that in days to come

will no longer

grasp these fleeting

connections to life.


And then your pain

will drift away like smoke

and the weight will float,


as if to the sky.



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