Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16: Gastrointestinal, James Dickey, "The Hospital Window"

Went to the doctor's yesterday about my chest and throat pain.  He ruled out anything cardiac (I had a normal stress test last June).  It isn't pleurisy--that usually occurs after an illness like the flu, something viral.  That leaves something gastrointestinal.  So my doctor is referring me to a GI specialist.  In two months' time, when I finally get an appointment, I may know why I've been feeling as if I'm dying.  (Cue the theme from Terms of Endearment.)

Despite having to wait that long for my diagnosis, I was much relieved today, as if a weight had been lifted out of my life.  For the first time in a couple months, I expect to wake up tomorrow morning without the specter of a fatal illness looming over me.

It rained today, but I didn't care.  Work was long and tedious.  Didn't care.  Spent my evening siting in wet bleachers, watching a football game.  Didn't care.  Nothing bothered me too much.  I'm reading a great book, Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  It's Friday night.  There's a great documentary about Mexican art on PBS.  Pretty soon, I'm going to head off to bed.

Saint Marty has had a good day.  A good, untroubled day.

The Hospital Window

by:  James Dickey

I have just come down from my father.
Higher and higher he lies
Above me in a blue light
Shed by a tinted window.
I drop through six white floors
And then step out onto pavement.

Still feeling my father ascend,
I start to cross the firm street,
My shoulder blades shining with all
The glass the huge building can raise.
Now I must turn round and face it,
And know his one pane from the others.

Each window possesses the sun
As though it burned there on a wick.
I wave, like a man catching fire.
All the deep-dyed windowpanes flash,
And, behind them, all the white rooms
They turn to the color of Heaven.

Ceremoniously, gravely, and weakly,
Dozens of pale hands are waving
Back, from inside their flames.
Yet one pure pane among these
Is the bright, erased blankness of nothing.
I know that my father is there,

In the shape of his death still living.
The traffic increases around me
Like a madness called down on my head.
The horns blast at me like shotguns,
And drivers lean out, driven crazy—
But now my propped-up father

Lifts his arm out of stillness at last.
The light from the window strikes me
And I turn as blue as a soul,
As the moment when I was born.
I am not afraid for my father—
Look! He is grinning; he is not

Afraid for my life, either,
As the wild engines stand at my knees
Shredding their gears and roaring,
And I hold each car in its place
For miles, inciting its horn
To blow down the walls of the world

That the dying may float without fear
In the bold blue gaze of my father.
Slowly I move to the sidewalk
With my pin-tingling hand half dead
At the end of my bloodless arm.
I carry it off in amazement,

High, still higher, still waving,
My recognized face fully mortal,
Yet not; not at all, in the pale,
Drained, otherworldly, stricken,
Created hue of stained glass.
I have just come down from my father.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you recognize the scythe salesman for what he is and is not - you're time among we mortals is not yet done.