They found her
in the restroom.
Heart beating still
And still, still so still.
What they really found
was not her, I feel.
I visited what they found today
At the hospital.
For convenience and courtesy
I shall call what they found
Leo said last night blood poured from her nose.
I envision her brain swimming in it.
The body gasped and choked.
A nurse applied suction.
Why is she on her back? I wondered.
I talked, in case perhaps she could,
from the tomb of coma,
I told her it was OK to go,
that she need not fear,
and that the Blessed Mother
would enfold her in Her arms.
I wondered if I was lying.
I sang her Mary songs,
Recited the Hail Mary in her ear.
The nurse, who had very clear compassionate eyes
Said my singing calmed her patient.
Death or a life without sentience are the two options now.
I watch her gasp and choke, then snore.
And I put myself in her place.
A place I never wish to be.
Would I, I wonder, have the courage to end it for her?
I mean, what if it goes on and on and on with no change?
Just a thought experiment, for the record.
But one cannot but wonder about these things,
confronted each as we all are,
at one time or another,
with our own Her.
I wondered about life and death,
life after death and living death.
Realized many of my sentimental
and comfortable notions
were deserting me, post-haste.
When I was a child, I had a play telephone
with a recording in it.
It frightened me so much
they had to remove the recording
before I would play with it.
Because I knew this phone was wrong –
I knew about phones, real ones,
but this phone was scary.
Because it looked like a phone,
and behaved like a phone,
but (horror, vertigo!) there was
no one on the other end.