What I Know

by Donna Hilbert

Because I awaken
at 6:19
to pain
as if my heart
were a wishbone
pulled apart,
I am not surprised
when they climb
the stairs
to tell me
you are dead.
Now I understand
what fear is:
waiting
for the messenger
to tell me what
I know.

Excerpted from Transforming Matter, Pearl Editions, 2000