Monday, October 24, 2016

tissue paper hands

If I squeeze too tight
tissue paper hands will tear
my dying vigil
your forehead's stress lines
passed to survivors

In memory of my grandmother, Margaret McLeod

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Daily updates
from my phone
no change...
no change...
never any change;
but the worst is in store.

Three, the number of 
weeks one can live without food...
You have been going on eight months.
No solids have passed your lips.
No voluntary movements towards fork or spoon.
How does a body survive on memory alone?

Three, the number of 
days one can live without water...
You stopped drinking two months ago.
Occasionally thirst will get the better of you
and a dixie cup can be coaxed between lips;
that third day must be the charm.

The number of spilled tears
counted in family;
children, grandchildren, great grandchildren.
The amount of sweat equity 
counted in people;
nurses, doctors, support staff.

This is what a life comes down to
at the end of a day;
measuring tears, sips and breathes
until they all run dry,
but today's update:
about the same...


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