Miles to Go – 2000


Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one

For one moment I am normal again
I am not tired
My hair isn’t falling out
I’m not “in recovery”
And then my head hurts so I have to close my eyes

When I open them, I’m still alive

There are so many questions that I have
about what happened
during the weeks I was only an observer of my own life
I know that everything was explained to me
but I don’t remember what was said
Lost amidst the pain
Morphine only lasts 45 minutes

Do you see more than a bodyIMG_2341
lying before you on the bed?
Do you see more than a scar that is healing?
Do you understand that a hand can be extended in silent comfort?

If I can hold my arms, palms facing me, for the ten seconds will I not be woken up
every hour – every two hours – every four hours?
I would just like to sleep
but there are miles to go before I am able

Dawn hasn’t come yet but someone has come to visit
The only strength I have left in my entire body rests in my fingers
Can you imagine what it feels like –
with no dignity remaining
The gown does nothing to cover my nakedness

My wrists are purple and full of holes
and the only place left to stick me is my left ankle
Don’t they do that to babies when they can’t get a line?

The gaggle of white coats gathers once again outside the door
Do I take a gander and peer through the network of wires monitoring my life
and try to hear what you are saying?

Did the angel fall from your shoulder to whisper
“Live, Kimberly, – it’s not your time to die?”
The only blinding light I saw was the flash of pain searing through my forehead
Did you visit the chapel before my operation?
Did you ask God to help you save my life?
What have I done to deserve to live?
I have already filled several lifetimes with living, loving, and knowing –
shouldn’t someone else be given the same chance?

I remember that I could only cross myself a few timesIMG_2348
asking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be with me
When someone’s father and someone’s son drilled a hole in my skull
what spirit was coursing through my veins?

The angel that fell from your shoulder accompanied me to the ICU
and during the nights and days cared for me
An angel was always with me – always smiling down at me
There was an angel to hold my hand when I was sad, even at three in the morning
Sharing coffee and quiet moments, the angels brought life back to me
and they weren’t afraid to get tough with me
They knew what I needed to hear – what I needed to do

This is your job
This is my life
How do you face that every day?
I know a miracle happened
Religion and science intertwined
There are no deficits
I am alive

Thank you for saving my life
I will remember as the miles unfold before me

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