After a long illness,

Elisabeth Reidy Denison

you walked out into health, as though health were a distant field visible 
from the second-storey windows of the house
of everything else. It was April. It was the first good thing I can remember
April doing, other than hosting your original, if also dicey, foray into the world. It was your thirtieth,
and you hadn’t died of your own lungs like the author of your favourite book,

Emily Bronte, died, at thirty, of hers.
You walked out, not tentative exactly, but skeptical, with good reason, as you are with anything 
medical and / or evolving. The field at this point had already started to turn
from one season of distance-keeping to another, the field being now a crisis
of health. The amount of time we couldn’t get to you, be with you, got longer, blurred. You, 
you said, felt this as a single long quarantine. In different countries at the same time, we read
Madame BovaryThe Art of WarMissing Person.

The field bloomed with cowslip, we with celebrations postponed. More days
of your illness than not, I’d thought of you
in a room in the house where we both used to live, all your systems running well
back then. You were exasperated and you said:
    think you should know what’s going on in your own body.”
Now you’re better, I have debated whether to tell you or not tell you
the regularity with which I think of how you shrugged
when you said it, or the regularity with which I think
of the book: the heath and the weather, and Cathy telling Nelly, of Heaven, “I dreamt once
that I was there.”