I chopped just one clove of garlic,
gently browned it in olive oil,
added water, salt, a pinch of pepper,
then slow cooked the broccoli down to softness
(like you taught me).

They say broccoli is good for breathing.

In a smaller pot I simmered the pastina–
those tiny dots of pasta.
When we were sick, you served that comforting porridge with an egg cooked in it.

But you can’t swallow an egg now.

I made you tea too, sweet like you like it.

You sip a few drops from the teaspoon.
You take a ceremonial bite of food.
You are done.

Perhaps at least the aroma rises up to you,
a love offering,
a sweet fragrance that pleases you as it bypasses the Oxygen tubing.

Weakness drives you back to bed.
I cover the food with a thin film of plastic wrap.

We will pretend that you will eat it later.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Elliot on September 5, 2006 at 12:03 am

    Peterson, that was beautiful. Excruciatingly sad, but beautiful.

    My best wishes and hugs to you. Right now, they’re definitely what you need.

    Peace out,


    p.s. Call or write me if you really need to get it all out.

  2. Clint on September 5, 2006 at 1:16 am


  3. KJ on September 5, 2006 at 1:47 am

    Peace of Christ.

  4. Christine on September 5, 2006 at 4:18 am


    breaks my heart. so sorry. so very sorry. a blessing you are there, yet i know it must feel like you are dying inside…

  5. Willie Hewes on September 5, 2006 at 11:54 am

    That’s so beautiful and sad. Thank you.

  6. Joe G. on September 5, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    So glad that you have these days together. Both in my thoughts!

  7. Jennifer on September 6, 2006 at 5:51 am

    What a lovely but sad poem!

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