Voices on the Wind
Voices on Waiting
Someone’s got a hold of my heart
by Mark Vogel
What was long unspoken grows
at this momentous time as a dwindling family sits
on hard chairs, busy with electronics
like William Gibson clones
in touch with individual knowledge
while new-fashioned futures loom—
as we wait for the latest death.
Accustomed to inevitable ends, we occasionally
share pictures and family jokes, and kill
boredom with games and clamoring
news snippets on repeat. Before us
a bulletin board is flush with birthday cards,
photos of familiar children and dogs
puzzled at being dogs.
So rich the voluntary propaganda—
pretending lives continue,
for we are sure that digital devices shield us
from a catheter tube snaking from mother’s blanket,
showing orange yellow urine inching
at a glacial pace to the plastic bag on the floor—
essence to be watched/avoided leaking
from this statue breathing steady slow,
stubbornly here still for these eight days
despite assured hospice predictions.
Because she no longer eats and drinks,
no longer talks, each of us has stood close,
giving her permission to go.
Buoyed this morning at imminent change,
we laugh at her persistence—
and thank her for the lack of pain,
for this time together,
to prepare, for allowing this inspection
of her ninety-five years, though
again we are still small children,
unsure what lies ahead.