Like Water

“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered …” – 2 Samuel 14:14

In a hospital room of white linen
and metal gates
he lay as a bowl tilted,
emptied of half of himself.
(Life absorbs as by a cloth.)
We watched his eyes intently then;
we had no container to put him in.
Weeks later he died
in a living room,
the vessel emptied,
a mirror on the cold wooden floor.
It has long since evaporated
and we have turned to wasps,
still seeking the place
where the water was.
So death’s rag stays wet,
Allowing you to build your nest,
but the sun knows well
how to skeleton your home
and brush it from the window
you call your own.

Pierce Taylor Hibbs has written for Westminster Theological Journal, the Journal of Biblical Counseling, the Journal of Reformed Theology (forthcoming), First Things, Reformation21, Place for Truth, and Reformed Forum. He lives in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

Photo: Dermot McElduff/Flickr. Used under CC BY-NC 2.0 license.