Unresponsive

Addeane Caelleigh

Do the trees, like us, dream
of falling, falling into the earth’s flat embrace
or share the lilies’ dread of being ripped
from the dark earth,
ungrounded?

Maybe they are more like my friend Annie,
who dreams of being on stage naked
but unembarrassed,
continuing her favorite lecture
to the unseen watchers beyond the lights.

I hope my mother, who has been sleeping so long,
is like my friend,
unafraid and doing what she loves,
with no fear of being ripped from life
or falling into the void.
I hope that somewhere beyond the tubes
and beeps and the clasp of my hand
her true self stands, with the trees,
looking ahead.

About the poet:

Addeane Caelleigh works on issues of accreditation and curriculum at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She is also senior editor of Hospital Drive, the school’s online journal of literature and art.

About the poem:

“When first written, the poem was fictional though deeply felt. Reworked sporatically over the next couple of years, it proved prophetic of the final months of my mother’s life last fall.”

Poetry editors:

Judy Schaefer and Johanna Shapiro

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