A Bright Blue Light

For Mary Haut, March 29, 1913 — March 24, 2003

Mary flies
over the Carpathian Mountains,
she is back home in the Ukraine.

She startles when the nurses
surround her in the hospital bed
ask her if
she is all right, they tell her

the heart monitors were going crazy
back at the nurses’ station.

Mary smiles and says
she wants her money back, the vacation
was over too quick

and they ask her “do you know
where you are?”

She says “of course I do, I’m at
the hospital now,”
as one nurse checks
her blood pressure and the other
gives her medicine to stabilize
her heart beat. “Next time
don’t wake me.”

Mary shuts her eyes. She isn’t going anywhere
yet. She remembers
flying over the snow-covered

mountains, how warm
the wind felt, the sky was
a bright blue light. She was breathing,

falling into it when the nurses
woke her, shook her from the sky.