End Results by Alice Wolf Gilborn His turn for blood work this morning. A routine test, but no breakfast, not even coffee. Just twelve degrees— I offer to walk the dog and after the long ritual of dressing for frigid weather, I plunge into the heartless air. An orange cat crouched in the driveway shifts its front paws; puffed up jays squawk in the oak tree. The dog stops—then sneezes mightily, putting cat and cold on notice. When I get back, he’s settled in his favorite chair, newspaper on his lap. Table’s set for one; a pot of water boiling on the stove awaits its egg, tea bag sits in a mug, a single slice of toast is ready to pop. The radio is off for once, so it’s our own voices we hear, chatter we won’t remember in a room warming with winter sun. When he leaves, silence descends like yesterday’s snow. Eating my solitary breakfast, I think of his small habitual gestures, the way he has of wanting to nourish the living: sparrows peck seed he’s spread on the deck, his two feral cats feed at their bowl, at the table I’m about to crack a perfect egg. Sustenance of many years. I wish him well, I wish him love, food for our braided lives. I wish all results positive. You can find this poem in Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection.