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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Autumn N. Hall

Changing Lines
—for Janice

my I Ching friend
went to the ER with the flu
it was really acute leukemia...
snow clings to cherry blossoms

They’re not giving her much time. Two weeks ago, she was throwing coins at my dining room table and I was fixing her a grilled cheese sandwich. She'd felt lightheaded and thought her blood sugar was low. Turns out it was her blood itself. The Sage said, After Completion. The doctors said, Incurable. Even as I type this, they are moving her to the hospice floor.

For months, she’d thrown hexagrams with no changing lines. This worried her, and she'd said as much aloud. Just like that, five out of six lines changed. “Woo-WOO-woo,” she'd declared, in her lilting Alabama accent.

This morning, when we came to say goodbye, she asked again about our wild birds. I retold my heron story, the way it had swooped up into our backyard pines in response to my wondering aloud where it might be. She said I had a gift and, “It’s important to share that.” I told her that I loved her, that death is the ultimate woo-woo-woo.

The parts of our natures she liked to call "witchy-poo” agreed.

beyond her window
The Garden of the Gods
and beyond them
obscured by clouds, Pikes Peak
and beyond that, the deep mystery