Spending my lunch hour on a bench away from the building where I work. The lawn is bright green with soft winter rye. There are leaves on some of the trees, turning, red and purple stars of sweet gum, fat bronze ovals of Bradford pear. They snag their edges in the grass where they fall. The wind is cold, my fingers already sharp and numb. How easily the leaves let go; how quiet the moment, the slight tug of the wind: it’s time, the silent assent of the leaf, nodding, all right, I’m so tired. So quiet one could miss it, like the silence of a bottle slowly tipping, lapping water, lapping more, till its weight carries it under: that moment, that long swallow, the silent turning descent. There. Then gone. So easy, so quiet. Such a small moment.
Wednesday at home with David, in the kitchen, talking about I don’t know what, and I said This is the decade where we learn that medicine is our good friend who steals. You get to keep something. You give something up. He looked up at me, startled: Very good. Thank you, I said, astonished myself that I’d come up with words that raw and that true.