The Phoenix

I knew there was something different when I first noticed him-
The man was walking tentatively down the hospital corridor,
Declining to use the railing; but beaming as he went along.
He had that look of a child fresh from his birthday party, or a new father,
Mixed in with surprise, and he had an air of vulnerability too.
What was that look about him? It intrigued, pulled us in closer…
With my father leaning upon my arm, we slowly approached,
Gradually, as each fall of step took us a few inches farther-
As he came closer, the mans face so wide open we could not just pass him by,
And he smiled as we stood abreast in the wide hallway:
“I have another chance, you see, ” he said.
“I’m still alive and I should have died, they told me.”
His eyes all bright and lit up like like two faithful candles
Still defying winters breath, even though the storm has passed by already.
I will never forget those eyes, however long I live.
I knew he was wondering, Why? Or, why me? -
A death sentence averted at the last minute?
Still above ground and not under it?
His was the palpable fruit of joy itself.
He was a child again, full of wonder.
And I felt his spirit resurrected;
Rising clean and unobstructed.
A Phoenix rising from the ashes
Of the old existence.

by Patti Masterman

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