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I sit on the patio where the 

fine delicate scent of her flowers

drifts in the air

The hospice nurse’s hand on my shoulder

tells me the machines and tubes 

have been removed

When I enter

she is lying quietly 

but her eyes seek me out

It is time


I don’t want to get the ring past the knuckle

But she opens her eyes, insisting

I place it in the dresser drawer

With the jewelry and medications

All the things now set aside

I want to gather them up and

shower her with 

gold, silver, white pills, and blue

But with a gesture she would 

clatter them all to the floor


The afternoon light moves slowly

as I pace the room

I want to speak from my heart

but this tires her

So I tell her of family and friends

while the sun moves across the floor

and brushes the edge of her bed


We’re beyond words now

So I sit by the bed and sing

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