Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bad Habit

I must stop watching 48 Hour ID.

A thrilling distraction but all those murders

make me wonder: will my husband club me

in my sleep? Will my son arrange

a drive-by? My daughters?

They want new cars, new stuff.

So they all have motives.

The scary part: it's often those you least expect.

Possibly my niece. A lawyer with a social conscience.

Who would think she'd kill her aunt?

She's the person I least expect.

Hard to know when a good person turns killer.

Greed, vengeance, jealousy degrade our souls.

And yet we are not all killers.

I couldn't kill anyone.

I have wished people dead:

the leader of North Korea,

child abusers.  But I couldn't kill them.

The very thought of murder freaks me out.

I don't believe in ghosts but I imagine

the murdered haunting the earth.

Just to witness life fading from a body naturally

makes for a frightening spectacle.

I sat with horror next to her bed

when my mother in law took her last breath

in the nursing home. Her boney chest rose and fell

all morning and suddenly it did not rise.

I stared at the spot, waiting for her breast to move again,

slowly realizing it would never, never move,

all her being was gone, and then my own breath

refused to rise from my own chest as I grasped

the meaning of never.

And oh how my mind slipped from my body,

like a sword from a sheath, the evening I walked

into that hospital room where my own dead mother lay.

What fear seized my body, paralyzed it.

I had to feel around for the chair like a blind person.

That's how frail I was in the presence of death, turned

into a pile of salt like that woman in the Bible.

Yes I must stop watching 48 Hour ID.

It's a very bad habit. It keeps my mind

on the dreadful question:

Who wants me dead?