This Vast by Cathleen Cohen

This Vast

On a shaking train, I am free
to settle my eyes on the momentary –
blood red leaf piles, sun-toned mums,
soft edged whisking sky,
flashing cinders.

My granddaughter faltered, seized
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .but
came back to herself.

Later, we rocked;
she singing, I poised to spring
like grandmother rabbit from a children’s book.

Now, rocking, rocking, I head home,
whispering to a voiceless God
who paints us landscapes
that empty and fill.

And I recall myself, years back,
feverish, tethered to an oxygen tent,
reaching to faces through plastic walls,
through billowing, foggy, slow breath,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .my first
glimpse beneath the veil.

Paralysis lasted only days.
Now, a lopsided vestigial grin.

How grateful,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .how grateful I am
to ride this train
admire this landscape, sharp and cool,
this vast breathing

by Cathleen Cohen

Editor’s Note: Some moments in life are so overwhelming it’s almost impossible to describe them, but this poem comes close.