Our apartment looks out
on the parking lot of Montefiore–
that place people go
in their final days.
Most days people come and go
all hours of the day and night
to visit their loved ones–
those they fear may not last another night.
Tonight it is unusually quiet at Montefiore
at two o’clock AM
on this eleventh day of December,
just two weeks before Christmas
I watched the snowflakes helplessly fall
in the light of the parking lot lamp posts.
They glided and swirled in unpredictable circles,
like tiny determined ballet dancers.
my eyes caught sight
of a single string of colorful Christmas lights
in a resident’s second floor window.
My mind raced back to a similarly cold December eve
more than fifty years ago
when I hung a single string of Christmas lights
around my grandmother’s bedroom window.
Oh how she loved looking at the lights, and
watching snowflakes dance outside her window,
while humming her favorite Christmas carols
as I sat quietly and held her soft warm hand.
I knew in that fleeting instant
just how special that string of lights must be
to the resident in that second floor room
just across the parking lot.