31. Room 304

Jesus answered… “We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Silo’am” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. —John 9:3–7

Shall I tell you that the morning blazed
with sapphire flame—ice cold, but with a warmth
that promised months of glorious summer days

as flowers promise fruit, and grey skies storms—
that cherries, hyacinths, azaleas bloomed
with God’s own rainbow, and an angel’s charms?

Here in this white and sanitary room
where weakness and a morphine drip contain you,
how could my vision, unseen, pierce your gloom?

The only promise here’s that death will claim you.
Still a wafer’s worth of beauty, if you take it,
though all I have to give, may yet sustain you.

We thirst for life, and living cannot slake it:
Still every day’s a spring if so we make it.

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