|Upon the Death of a Familial Figure
Author: Kaelyn PM
Grandfather’s dying but you stand in a corner cramped between two heart machines and the one on the left is broken.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Poetry/Family - Words: 564 - Published: 06-16-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2532531
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Don't make me.
I won't do it.
You want it so badly?
To drag it out pull me out
bitten cheeks swell with words under pressure and
My throat hurts.
You want it so badly?
Then fine, I'll do it
Watch his wings from the crushed
crammed corner of a blind white
room. Those wings
aren't so white as the walls.
Watch his wings caught under
loose flesh, sloughing shoulders, lost
weight. Almost light
enough to fly but he will refuse.
Watch his wings but pretend not
to see eroded feet peeking out from
bedding. Disgusting, don't
look at them die.
Watch his wrinkled sheet wings but shy
from the sullen eyes asking a little girl to step
closer. To say
goodbye when she can't even say
Because who wants to remember?
There's dog shit on the floor and
they can't get out of their chairs they're
So aunt cleans it up, cleans them up, while grandma's
legs wriggle like bloated maggots and she screams,
"I don't even know her birthday."
So daddy reminds her, October ninth
but her legs still kick and grandpa stares past
statuesque and just as responsive
while brother tugs my arm and leads me outside
to the park on the corner.
We take the dog and it shits on the lawn.
But don't forget
Back when they walked and the chairs weren't permanent
I had a birthday.
He walked with his cane to the garage and came back
with a red tool kit
paint slick like the grease under his nails
and opened it to show me
the hammer inside with rust on the handle
the bent nails beside it
I crouched beside the upholstered chair
chin pillowed on his doughy thigh
as he explained the difference between
flat heads and phillips
and never noticed
I didn't care.
Ready to go yet?
So different now
this rotting man.
(like he ever did)
(too much, his skin drapes his body better than the sheets)
(I hate feet. I hate them! Please god someone cover them up!)
(Can he move? This is worse than his chair.)
(I don't want to be here.)
Too bad, you're already there
but you stand in a corner
cramped between two heart machines and
the one on the left is broken.
Don't move closer
if you do then he'll see you.
just stand here
while your knees crumble
and your calves ache
and your lungs
can't keep their air
because when you walked in
the white walls slapped you like a belly flop
and no one heard the gasp.
Now say goodbye
Catch your breath
clench your hands
you've been cornered too long.
you can do it, I know you can.
See? He's smiling back
and he's still the same.
(I hate him)
You love him.
Take his hand
and know in the morning
when they call you
and tell you
he died in his sleep
the night you left
that at least you got
to say goodbye.
(Then why doesn't it feel like it?)