Heart Sounds

She looked at my arm
as I set a steel gaze on the wall.
Does it hurt?
Jaw set. Defiant shake of head.
I feel her eyes on me.
My cheeks turn strawberry,
betraying my attempt to lie.
Scanning the corner, eyes restless,
needing distraction.
Running without motion.
Disgust as I feel her fingers
brush across my skin scars….
For me, not the fingers,
cool and strong
as they encircle my slender arm.
I hadn’t noticed my tachycardia
until her knuckles pressed gently at forehead
then cheek, checking for fever
I can only assume,
due to my hurried breathing
and flushed face.
I close my eyes, almost smiling
as I wonder if she knows
how maternal her action feels.
Her voice drifts intermittantly
as my mind slips farther
into the gray shadows.
I don’t try to hear her any more.
Relinquishing the facade of control
I shift closer, lean my head against her
listening for something steady
to grasp, sounds that make sense.
Lost in the quiet lub-dub of her heart
my defenses waver.
A tear escapes burning eyes
when I hear her words echo
beneath my ear before
floating over my head.
How’s my heart today?
Any murmers? Am I okay?
Said, most likely,
to make me smile.
Or coax me gently
back into the world
I so desire to leave behind.

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