Dogs 2010

JUST ANOTHER DEATH
(12/17/10)


she works
in a rather large
cancer treatment
center

every week
new patients
come in

every week
dead patients
go out

some
she says
are ready
to die

calm

peaceful

others
of course
fall apart
not ready
to let go
of their living
todays

at first
what she
witnessed
gave her fears
for her own
mortality
as well as
for those
of whom
she loved

as the weeks
and months
went by
she began to see
these transitions
as inevitabilities
that at worst
leave some
minor
financial
and domestic
disasters
to be solved
by those
who remain

the dead
are simply
gone

she realized
that she has known
so many
during her life
infants
children
teenagers
young adults
older relatives
and recently
a good friend
also a patient
at the center
who all died
far too early
in her estimation

not before
their times
however
since death
is everyone's
stopping
clock

"Mrs. Peterson
died
this morning"

she tells
me
as she is
preparing
our dinner

she hands
me
the plastic
box of
spinach

"would
you please
throw the rest
of this
away?

it's a bit
past
its prime"