a Wellspring poem by Jack Mayer
He nears the end of this journey,
preparing for the next,
breathing coarse, intermittent,
body tranquil but for fitful breath.
We stand in a semi-circle and sing a hymn,
cocoon a man we know because he is one of us,
and do not know because he approaches the boundary.
Small voices in four-part harmony
fill the dying room, majestic as a choir
suffusing renaissance heights.
I know my part well enough
to be present to the mystery,
to see myself in his place,
to give comfort and receive comfort at the same time.
To attend at the time of dying,
is grace made visible,