my mother
died before
she saw this
day a sixty-
sixth time,
the cancer
seeping into
her bones
she thought
only back-
aches &
her cells
eating away
her cells
too much,
too every-
where to
do more
than accept
the inevitable
& hospice
& then
my sister
watched her
thin &
two weeks
later when
my mother
left she
went quiet
in the night,
no rage
against the
dying light,
one moment
there & the
next round
gone, nurses
plying midnight
floors while
our old
friend death
waltzed in;
I like to
think her
father held
the door


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