By Barbara Janelle M.A.

Unpublished, January 2000


I have been with animals as they left

all flight and upward bound,

joyfully free

And held their owners in my arms

and cried ‘til we both could do

no more

I held my Wimsey cat

as she demanded to leave

and watched her leap into light

In one bright moment,

my mother said, “Thank you” to me,

then moved into coma and died

I feel the fear in the wives

as their gray-haired men on pallets

go into surgery

I have seen the agony of illness

on the faces and bodies of young women

and felt the pain in their husbands and children

I recognize death

and know the fear it offers

those who stay

What is this life about?

Love – in all its many faces

and Spirit – ongoing.