My dead ones cling to me.
They are always present
in my thoughts and dreams.
Their withered arms
reach for me,
pull me toward them.
I read a question
in their vacant eye-sockets:
When will you join us?

My ill ones seek consolation
No one commiserates like me.
They cry out for me,
the breast cancer and the fractured pelvis,
the multiple sclerosis.
The stroke can call no more,
his son takes over.
They demand: Be there for us.
Bear it with us.

I lift my head, heavy with worry,
gazing into the smiling face
of my beloved.
He too has a question:
When will you start living?