During much of my life,
my heart has been stopped.
This explains all those fearful pauses.
Like the time I held you in my arms
and could not pronounce the word love.
Or the time my father died
and I could not find the knobs to doors,
the handles of drawers,
the steering wheel of my car.
And finally it explains
when I kissed my mother
for the last time,
in the vast silence of her dying,
I could hear her heartbeat
for the first time.