by Alison Stone
I’m in the hospital with kidney stones,
my friend texts. I struggle to keep reading --
spring suns blurs the screen
despite my cupped hand and the dog
tugs at her leash – first warm week
and so much to smell.
I start to put the phone away
but see leukemia, which I guess
they found because of the stones.
My dad’s co-worker was driving when his heart stopped.
The crash jolted it back to beating. His other friend
collapsed on a treadmill and never got up.
Some people believe in a god
with a plan and rewards for the good,
prayer helping (perhaps mitigating death to a bad flu)
except when it doesn’t. Maybe the best plan
is to follow the dog’s agitated tail
toward Hook Mountain’s base, and stop
as I do every morning and look up –
two hawks earnestly circling,
snow finally melted from the peak.