She wandered up the hall. Something was missing.
“Where’s my robe?” She looked around wildly.
It trailed behind her, one sleeve
on her arm. “Something’s missing,” she said.
“You’re fine, Mrs. Avery,” said the doctor.
His calm was unnerving.
She packed her overnight bag–
her aunt’s wedding ring, a photo
of her mother as a child. She wouldn’t need much.
She dressed fastidiously; like anyone else,
she knew how to rely on appearances.
Her heels tapped lusciously when she walked
to the stainless steel elevators.
She picked up her Subaru in the parking lot
and drove onto the freeway.
I’m a reasonably logical person, she thought.
A car cut in front of her. She braked.
“I’ll go back to work on Monday.”
They had sent the signed get-well card.
She had, in turn, placed it at the bedside.
There’s no I in team. “I thought it was spelled with an i,”
she mused, as she negotiated traffic.
She was long past her exit.
She must be careful, on Monday,
not to mistake the niceties for personal interest.
“Don’t be effusive,” she chided herself.
Six lanes trickled into subsidiary roads.
There were ferns and rhododendrons.
Shadow and sunlight slid over her rear window.
She drove toward the dusk. Why not?
She turned east, up the Columbia River Gorge.
The moon was transparent above the bare hills.
White stars broke as she ascended the rim rock.
The road dipped and rose before her,
and the high desert soothed her thirst.
If I could just get my bearings, she thought.
She searched her mind. Watching like an animal,
she glimpsed movement in her peripheral vision.
Careful not to startle her thought, she closed on it like a butterfly,
and caught the eye of God.
She pulled to the side of the road.
The barren hills were bathed in a lucid gaze,
and she could pick out details at a distance.
Gradually, as her eyes adjusted,
she became aware of her own existence.
A sigh of relief shuddered her, and she breathed.
Just a few steps ahead of her lay a foot trail.