Unconvinced


Unconvinced

She wears

glasses

to hear

with her aides.

Ninety-nine years.

She’s worn.

Out.

“What?” she says. Her right eye squinting, hand cupping, head tilted, towards me, asking, again,

“...should I do?”

She can’t remember.

“What do I do?” she pleads, bringing her hands to her face, failing, she thinks, to remember, what to do,

Breathless.

Ly.

“Did you tell me to breathe?” she asks.

Hand on chest, saying a prayer or pledge or promise,

that has won,

out.

“Your body knows,” I whisper.

“How,” I add,

as she fails,

again.

“What?” she says.

Her lips pursed with pleats surrounding her mouth,

like a zipper.

“How’s that?” she asks.

Squinting,

again,

towards me,

head tilted.

“Why do I have to live so long?” she says, her aged voice cracking through the sighs,

fists pounding on thighs.

“What good do I do?” she asks.

“All my friends are gone,”

she splays,

her hands,

in supplication.

“Even my son.” She stops.

Ragged.

Yeah.

Worn.

Out.

Yeah.

Even her son.

“Do I have to eat?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say, unconvinced.

“I want to stay in my home,” she says.

“Yes,” I say, unconvinced.

“Why do I have to live so long?” she cries.

“Yes,” I say, unconvinced,

Holding vigil while she waits.

Didn’t the eskimos used to ride ice floes?

When the time came?

I’m looking for that balm for my own endings.

Yeah.

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