Last Days

Fog gathering, cotton filling up the corners of my mind,
graying day and night, sleeping and waking, home to home,
as I drive back and forth, St. Paul to farm,
farm to Litchfield to Dassel, back again.
Radio, news, music, silence,
back and forth, roads without end.

Still, shrunken, sleeping, he fades toward the end,
body weakening, drifting, slowing like the mind,
still breathing, eyes closed, sinking in silence,
slowly separating from life and love and home,
into night, into God, into mystery again,
far from home and family and farm.

July sun bakes hay dry, pulls corn tall on the farm,
row on row of beans, beets, basil, weeds without end,
rain falls, garden grows, life blooms again.
Summer turns to fall and winter, body and mind
follow, into end time, time for going — home?
Home on the range, home sweet home, heaven home, silence.

Loss and dying and letting go in silence,
family gathering at the bedside and at the farm.
Laughter to tears, memories to dreams, home to home,
life to life, love to love, beginning to end.
Waking, sleeping, thinking, fog-filled mind,
I sleep, to wake, to drive, to dream again.

Morning, noon, evening, come and go again,
quiet, darkened room, sitting in silence,
touching his hand, but no longer his mind,
far from us, far from the farm.
Dying, life does not exactly end;
Good earth yields life and growth and home.

Together, but not at home,
Together one more day and night again.
Together is all that’s left in the end.
Breath stilling to silence,
leaving wife and children, home and farm,
leaving body, leaving mind.

Everything is holy in the silence,
holy planting, growing, harvest on the farm,
holy winter rest and peaceful mind.

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