After he knew

by Delores Gauntlett

En route to the airport, I asked myself how
do you greet someone coming home to die?
How do you think Welcome home

without wondering, Home to what?
But when his wheelchair crossed
the Customs departure room

what struck me first
was not his shrunken frame,
nor the end sauntering towards

him, but his smile flying open
like a singing yellowtail
lifting me beyond my plight

of knowing what he knew,
into a cool evening of understanding
that perhaps he’d found
a place in face of death.

He opened a window so we could pick up
from where we were before he knew,
and I, at my own pace, entered.

No questions asked nor answers concocted,
with smiling eyes, he said,
I’m glad I lived the things I did.