ugly

the place smells like medicine
like strong solvents viricides
the floors gleam impossibly
nurses walk on rubber soled runners
clad in efficient pastel unisuits
there is a swath of silence around us
in this room that focuses on
the single remarkable event
that is so natural it is unspeakable

each breath is a new effort
experimental, occasional
as if only conscious effort
makes each cycle possible
each hesitant rise of the
carefully smoothed pastel sheets
proceeds like the result
of an equation not quite
calculated but improvised
for the present emergency

we watch each cycle
see the faint imagined
pulse of a temple vein
as a hopeless hope
a monitor draws out the
diminishing pulse silently
unlike in the movies yet
I could grope for a gulp
of buttered popcorn

the efficient nurse seems
more concerned about us
sitting, standing around the
high metal bed
would you like some coffee
or juice they have sandwiches
all night in the cafeteria

each of us different
lord let it end
do everything to keep life going
this is too sad to contemplate
do not resussitate
this was a noble life let us remember that
what do we do
I feel focused upon
yet this is unscripted
but the director watches intently
I feel his eyes making an actor of me
I remember giggling at the
oh so solemn funeral of
a classmate as the tiny coffin
was carried to the front
of the church by weeping relatives

I don’t think I will giggle now

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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