Wednesday, September 15, 2010


(Public domain photograph by Anna Cervova)

His eyes are watery.
Not such a surprise
Since they’re blue,
But they’re also red
At the corners,
Behind the thick glasses
With broken brown frames
Held together at one side
By bunched Scotch tape.
His V-necked t-shirt
Shows a chest
From which all hair
Has disappeared.
His guard uniform,
Long unworn,
Hangs cattycorner from him
On the outside
Of the closet door.

He sits sunken
In his yellow-green
Stuffed chair,
His black and white cat
Sacked out
On the back of it,
Fretfully drowsing in
A twitchy dream.
Old books line the shelves
Built in the wall beside him,
An assortment of odd titles:
Ancient “Advice From Heloise,”
“Word War II Chronicles.”
Collected crossword puzzles,
And “Essays of Bishop Sheen.”
From the left arm of his chair
There hangs the cord,
With red light, of
A heating pad. His wife
Will have to watch in case
It starts to smoke, or so
She likes to say.
Him, she no longer watches,
Though he smokes a lot
These days; the doctor says,
“just let him go. It’s too late now.”

He looks at, and past,
The TV where the blurry picture rolls,
For scenes he remembers
More vividly than the last hour.
His cousin the priest
Will come later
To hear his confession.

His son, who towers over him,
Now knows
That hanging on
Will hold him here;
He overheard
The hospice lady
Tell him so.
He suspects this time will be
Their final visit.

Like the doctor said,
“just let him go.”

-- © 2010 by Jack Veasey

(All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced or duplicated in any form without the author's written permission. )

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