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The Last Minute

Cadence of the Darkest Day

By Leslie StavenPublished 2 months ago 2 min read
The Last Minute
Photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash

one thousand one















one thousand two

After drawing air in, a distant, harsh echo faintly rattles within her

eyes holding my heart while she holds on

her chest indistinctly rises –

Mom, remember the chair in the Kallin house?

I remember those nights. You’d come into my room,

and we’d tiptoe through the house, to the chair. I’d sit in

your lap, arms around your neck, snuggling close to you.

You said I was a part of you. I said the same to you.

That never changed.

We may not be alike, but we are the same.

one thousand sixteen

- squeezing knowingly

the air drained, almost unnoticeably

a long pause, gathering strength, musters a weak uprising of her chest -

Good grief, Mom. Think about all the

things that happened. We were always together.

Really, I know that you were the one who was

always there for me – every time.

I don’t think I would’ve made it without you.

You taught me how to stand in the flames

and become stronger. I love you – thank you.

- shudders as her breath is released and I hold on -

one thousand twenty-six

But it was the fun. Even in the roughest times,

we still had fun! You showed me how to find

the positive in anything. You called me Polly Anna!

But I got that from you.

Oh, the laughter.

The trips. The joy.

You made every moment of my life incredibly happy.

You gave me a really good life.

as her last word comes “Love,” with a sigh,

one thousand and forty-five

I put my lips to the hands that had always been there holding me, pushing me, supporting me, loving me -

I love you too, Mom. I don’t want you to hurt

anymore. You have fought.

You don’t have to fight anymore. You can go.

I will be okay.

I am lying to my mother.

You will always be with me

I will be okay because you’ve taught me…

- as my tears break through her last exhale swirling on unknown currents to rest upon the clouds and wait for her.

I hold my breath, watching for hers.

one thousand fifty-six

It does not come.

…but you didn’t teach me how to live without you.

Trying not to cry, I squeeze my eyes and her hand.


My head rests on her chest

my heart drops in response to the deafening silence of her exhausted heart

I find it implausible that my heart beats on.

one thousand fifty-seven

while hers does not.

I desperately want to stop time, for just another moment

one thousand fifty-eight

My throat tightens, and my soul screams.

And suddenly, I feel time stand still


as if to cruelly prove me wrong,

the clock’s hand sharply snaps to attention,

one thousand fifty-nine

and marches on.

The cadence of the ticking clock on the wall above the wall is ceaselessly moving into the darkest days

one thousand sixty

without her.


About the Creator

Leslie Staven

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    Leslie StavenWritten by Leslie Staven

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