I think I understand
what the word means now
since I passed the corner
Irving and 19th
and for a small part of
perhaps a second
a flash in my mind
or heart

I thought I’d be able to turn there,
go to the UC hospital
where my husband worked
pull into the parking lot
behind Langley Porter
and he’d be there
with his curly brown hair
give me a kiss
and we’d go off to the beach
or out to dinner and

I could almost feel
our lips touching
when I realized
all this in less than a second
and I didn’t even
really believe it
as much as see it
a quick scene in a movie
of course
it was impossible

John had been
dead for more than five years now
and that is why they call it
like a small cut
a small sharp knife


© Judy Bebelaar

published in The Widow’s Handbook


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