At six I sit at the west window,
Watching the first faint traces of sun
Baptize the tops of tall pines.
Infusions of light flow down old
         scarred bark.
Dark needles dream themselves gold.

Last night we sat by his bed and saw him
Inhale a long raucous breath
And slowly release it - his last.
His death day was ten weeks
         and three days
Short of his eighty-ninth birthday.

The week before, he refused:
No more food, no more water.
Bones protruded as flesh retreated.
His mouth sagged open.
         His eyes stared blind
At things too hidden for us to see.

Something sighed to him come away
And beckoned him out of his broken-
         down body.
He took that last ragged breath,
Held it a moment and then gave it back
         and slipped free.

So many things still to do:
Arrangements to make, his few living
         friends yet to phone….
But here I sit at the west window,
High in the sway of old pines
Sunlight so slowly slides down.