Is real time.
Waking, she stretches, bends low, showers.
Warm water, soap flow over gentle breasts, legs.
Dry towel, clothes, coffee, yogurt, cereal.
Early she goes off, mind set, clear, caring,
touching crystals deep in the mountain,
invisible to all but a few modest priests.
In the laboratory, she scans gel run overnight,
measures bands marking DNA, sets the course for
her staff (diverse like exotic flowers!). At her desk,
cased by paper stacks, a sunny corner, she reads
email. Emergency! A young boy has leukemia;
second case. Gene therapy has stopped. What to do?
She carries this pain, silent and secret.
A new mission unfolds. Children, born with broken genes,
immune not even to simple colds, die very young. The new
treatment, gene therapy, bolsters the system and gives
these wee souls a new, normal life. Then came leukemia,
white cells out of control. Two of fifteen, what to do?
Politicians will cry "Gene therapy must end." Pulpits
may rage; the French march. Should fifteen have died?
Alive by a slender thread, their fate of early death
passed over, what will be their future? What is the mark
of science? Think, check, analyze. Do no harm.
Silently she comes home, stirs dinner, guides her
boys through homework. Dad comes in, a normal day
casting software. We supper, touch on publishable
events, negotiate our family agenda. The kids are
released to games, we settle in bed, under a down
comforter. I turn and touch the belly of an angel.
"How was your day?" I ask. Only she sleeps, deep in
her only time.
A tribute from 2003, still good. Happy Valentine's Day!