While cycling out of Chéticamp
I am thinking of you and Mike
on your way to Baddeck in a cab
then driving to Portland
to catch a flight to Cleveland
because your sister has opted against intubation,
a word I had to Google,
and I’m quite sure
I’ve never even heard of Farmer’s Lung
when I see a boy burst from the door
of a yellow house
and dash through the yard
like a blur without a care in the world
until he is gone
and there is only the blinding sea.
I am thinking of the call you took
while the rest of us
ordered eggs and toast
and you heard there would be no donor,
no pair of lungs to lie
like new pillows in your sister’s chest
and I start to wonder what if she was my sister,
and what yours will say
to you in that pause between words,
our eyes can’t seem to endure
when I see an old man on a mower
kill the engine,
doff his cap and smile
as I pedal past hedges of wild roses
splashed along the coast,
rose hips dangling like bunches of grapes
would suck for the vitamin C.
I imagine the barn where she bred horses,
mold spores drifting
on sunlit air
dusting her lungs with disease.
By now, maybe you’ve made it to Saint John
or even the border.
It’s been hours since I saw that boy.