I did not know you.
If I passed you on the street,
I would not have been able to put a name to your face,
or recgonize the smile that shone every day.
I didn't read your newspaper articles in the local press.
My eyes brushed your name, your picture,
and I moved on.
I did not notice you.
But, I noticed your abscene.
I read the final submission you wrote
when you were so tangled in your illness
you could only type with your toes.
And you said "My toes can't type anymore,"
and my heart broke for you.
And so I mourn you, along with all the people who knew you,
as if your life had some profound impact
on my soul.
I mourn you as if I knew you,
even though I don't.
But you've made me think,
because your final words had this odd optimism and kindness
I've never seen before
in someone who knows they are dying.
When you ask people what they would do for their last days,
out of all of the things,
you continued to write,
you typed with your toes,
and I wish I could tell you
you've given me hope.