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painless

by Maria Francesca

the girl -
I don't remember her name-
she's wringing her hands
and stuttering,
staring down at me
(i'm probably her first).

the taller one
ushers the other old folks
off the ward
so as to spare them
the vulgar sight of me,
afraid i might remind them
of why they're here.

this floor
is more comfortable
than i thought it would be -
like laying on a cloud -
and i want to tell the fretful girl
not to worry -

this is painless.

i knew
this was where i was headed
when i came here.

the others know it, too,
though it is never spoken of,
more for the sakes
of caregivers
and family members
than for their own,

because most of us
at least suspect
what i know now for certain:

this is painless.

07/17/2006

Posted on 04/11/2009
Copyright © 2022 Maria Francesca

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