Friday, late afternoon


Hugh Silk, MD, MPH

Have you thought anymore about hospice?

All sound seems to disappear

A tear refuses to decide between the lacrimal duct and her cheek

Suspended like the moment

Not ready yet


Silence broken

The whistle of her lungs creates harmony

You there on your coach

Oxygen tube dangling to the floor

I on my knees at your side

I listen intently to your chest sounds

Through the snores of your husband

from the only other room in this basement apartment

And the music from the smart phone as your grandson plays a game

And the loud snore that pierces the calm

While the wind outside the door clashes against the frozen pane

A Shakespearean reminder of the tension here

in the warmth beside your space heater

Harmony has become cacophony



We smile, maybe even laugh awkwardly

I will return

I have to

We need to

Perhaps me more than you

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