A long time she’d been fading. He noticed

how upright and still she’d sit in her chair,

gazing for silent hours through the latticed

window into the late afternoon air.

She ate almost nothing, spoke even less.
He feared her mind and soul were wandering, but she seemed alert, listening to voices
he could not hear, and always pondering
the visitations and the strange events.

Why was she chosen to participate
in the confusion, fear and violence?
How did providence and her will relate
to conceive a joy that would pierce her heart?

He saw the pale, fragile skin of her hands—
the faint pulse of the delicate veins
and her clear eyes, watching waiting to depart.
Then she rose, nodded and put out the light.
She pulled her shawl around her, crossed the room and lay down— arms crossed, to sleep for the night— ready at last to be carried home.