remembering fifteen days
with a few
after the first five,
before the last five.

praying and waiting,
unsure and hopeful,
encouragement from friends
eased the stress. 

breathe deeply, now.
relax muscles, now.
think positively, now.

i listened.
podcasts, audiobooks,
the bible, my songs,
and silence.

i listened.
thoughts, conversations,
the situation, my memories,
and assurance.

hospital staff cared,
they listened.
family and friends cared,
they asked.

affirmation amid the anxiety,
a smile,
even when hands are held
tightly, so tightly,
like i’m keeping them
from escaping.
but the questions,
the concerns,
revealed sympathy.

warmth from friendships
felt like one more coat
i wore in each of those
fifteen days of cold.