"to the parents of a dying child."

stop the attempted intervention.
when you come home and see
a stranger,
sitting on your couch,
listening to her god-awful music on your stereo,
stop. and accept her.

Your sudden, mandatory family dinners
—three course meals,
Chicken marsala and blueberry pie,
drizzled with pathetic—
are too late.
family movie nights and old, dusty Monopoly boards
will not fool anyone into thinking that this
is a functioning family unit.
they will not turn her
lacy black thongs back into pink cotton naievety,
nor her long, weakened hair into babysoft curls,
nor will her tired lungs, rent heart, and fractured lips
be restored to the youthful, innocent things
that once loved you so.

Love her all you can, my friends; you must do that.
but know, she is too far gone.