My miracle cures left her of two minds. 
Pillowed in the bed, she would seem to be 
all acquiescence, even eagerness,

listened for doctors’ voices in the hall, 
and seemed prepared to turn back the bedclothes 
when they cared to look, or lay on their hands,

and coughed when they asked. But as she declined, 
she pushed her food away and turned her eyes 
from conversation and arriving cards.

She watched out the window. We moved the chairs, 
rolled her vanity aside, and roped 
back the fallen drapes to clear the view,

(all views she kept up in the air), in light 
put out in what seemed vases of cut crystal 
as she looked about, one on the sill, and one

beside the bed; it wavered and then vanished 
as the shadows came and went under the thin
whim of cirrus clouds above the garden.

That night she lay unturned in the crumpled sheets, 
and listened, and let her heart, like a small fish, 
vanish from hearing with a gentle flutter;

then nothing but surface ripples in the bed 
that looped and bellied like disturbed water, 
till the carriers smoothed them flat. It was

her manner of detachment: the coffin 
was braced between two chairs along the wall, 
and was too large by half for her small frame.

She lay to one side: . . . but why even want 
to be everywhere at once, she used to say. 
Not that she tried. I think of all the things

she would get herself into day by day, 
the bath and the bed, and the garden 
where she pruned and seeded, carried water

and dumped water, and how she moved, always 
silent, sure as the overspill of a spring 
river: when pressed, it canters into lost

pools and runnels under rock, fills and then 
empties back. It was a way she kept 
herself clear for whatever might happen next.