Her eyes were mostly shut. She didn’t speak.
The sun’s slow exile crossed the wall above the bed.
But once, when I bent to feed her a drop
of morphine from the little plastic beak,
her hand shot up and gripped my arm. She looked right at me.
When she said the words, it sounded like she meant: Don’t leave me.
From the very first, we love like this: our heads turning
toward whatever mothers us, our mouths urgent
for the taste of our name.
This poem is absolutely beautiful and captures the concept of metta so very well – the devotion, no matter how difficult, to caring for others. Crossing the threshold into death is one of the most painful times for any being, whether it is watching another die or facing one’s own mortality. Being there for another as they pass from one existence to the next is a sacred duty, a true chance to reveal our inner Buddhahood.