Grandfather Ascending

Grandfather Ascending
(in loving memory of Patrick Conte January 11, 2004)

it is a sad business
living

when you’re strapped in iv drips, catheters, oxygen masks
to a hospital bed

the time passes
amorphous
in wallows
of dread.

the extinguisher of maladies descends
looming through quarantined, plastic, humidified air
on some he takes pity and others he has none left to spare.

After having watched his returns, il dolor

now more than two or three
transient stops in four years

both living and dying hearts
fall numb

beating replete without fear
pumping oneness

In St. Joseph’s hospital
where stone angels grace halls, I pace
whilst my grandfather and death dispatch their calls.

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