"It was a cannery truck, after all," we said afterward.
"Unreliable. It stalled when he would bring it to a complete stop.
He probably coasted through the stop sign."
"Bone cancer doesn't relent," the doctors told her.
"Go. Live. Enjoy the time you have left."
For five years she did exactly that: dove the Great Barrier Reef.
Went to China. Fished the lake near her house with her niece.
When she was done, she slipped away overnight.
It doesn't take much -
a gentle roll of the boat as the wake passes underneath;
the brush of an elbow,
and the power-drill, set too close to the edge,
tips and tumbles overboard.
You see it roll: watch without moving, frozen
like a dream has materialized before you.
It doesn't even complete a full circle
before it hits the water - that flashlight -
or 10-inch crescent wrench, or your cell phone
slipping out of your pocket as you bend down -
in the air before you know it.
It lands on the water's surface
like you land on the bed after a long day,
blankets fluffing, rising as they are displaced,
absorbing the impact and falling back again;
only the water receives and moves aside, and you see your knife,
the one you spent all those seasons sharpening,
the one you got in France years ago, on vacation - a gift
from the vendor who loved that you were a fisherman
and insisted you take it –
suddenly out-of-reach, beneath the surface,
fading, getting smaller and dimmer as it recedes from you
and all your memories of it,
out of your grasp forever in an instant,
like your friend who tipped over the edge after the long struggle
to hang on to the rail while the disease rolled under her...
or the buddy who was brushed away in the morning light
when a car crested the hill and elbowed him into the air
before he knew it - a short fall into deep water.