Each Stop of The Heart

Each Stop of The Heart

we thought that after two

it was over

the mind calm


after the last

ripe for life

to get back to normal


each stop of the heart

a hope stop

not a jump start

then another and another

five in total

by the fifth

there seemed to be no end

except the dead end


like hurtling towards that wall


one didn’t know

if they would be hitting it

if one would be aware

of the final fatal crash

by the fifth

the wall was impending


stripped of the buffer of hope

remained raw


and pale



in my warm little home

get the message

I had seen him

only a few hours ago

sit up

for the first time

clear eyed

talk of the next step

in the recuperative process

some physio

the implant

smiles and waves as I left

waves of the future

washing us back to terra firms


hours later

the call


again again

I make my way back

though the twisting snakes

of streets

past Christmas lights

that I find some breath of pleasure in

a gift so freely given


I arrived

and while I fretted

those who knew

what to do

did what needed to be done

he tells me

‘I’m not getting out of here alive’

I nod

I know it is the fear

[the same as mine]

that is talking


we both thought

the last was the last

yet there was one more

perhaps that is the last


a few days later

stability has settled in again

the final struggle

appears to be the final one

he lives

we breathe

the requests for books

for socks

using the phone

brushing teeth


how those little things

become markers

of great strides



the first standing to pee

the first walk to the corner store

all returns to routine

sort of

for there will be a new routine

more caution

for if that first attack hadn’t happened

where it did

there may have been no recourse

but the universe

was holding us

keeping us

if not safe


doing what it could

to make what couldn’t be avoided

the least difficult


perhaps that is one of the ways

in which prayers are answered

not with

the delivery of that Christmas list

of sleds and lovers

but of opportunities

the universe cannot


the unstoppable

but it can find ways to to let us

bear the brunt of fate

with a little more hope

and hope

springs eternal

after an few hours

a few friends

some laugher

and talk once again of tomorrow

not of power of attorney

who to tell next

as there is only survival to tell

not tragedy

and that

is always the happy end


This is based on truth – when my partner had his stroke, just before Christmas years ago, while waiting at the heart clinic at Sunnybrook – if it was going to happen this was the best place for it to happen – he got immediate medical attention which minimized the damage to his brain & saved his life too.box01

I didn’t get the call until he was in surgery . By the time got there – public transit is about an hour – he was in the post-op intensive care & we speak briefly. The doctor tells me things are looking well & I go home to get some toiletries he’ll need over the next few days. I get home to a call there’s been another heart stop but once again the shock back to life.box02

Recovery is slow and fast at the same time. Mobility returns but the feeling of heaviest remains as the pacemaker teaches the body its new beat. The routine of hospital visits is replaced with the routine of home care visits.


The pacemaker changes menus, routines and these become normal. Opportunities to change & then forget how thing used to be. One change I still haven’t gotten used to – the worry of: is this the morning he doesn’t wake up – is the day I come home to the empty house.


January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9



March 12, Saturday: attending:



June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC



September 1-5: attending FanExpo 2016expo16


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo




Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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