Do Not Resuscitate
Saturated in morphine
breathing like a hurt animal
maybe somewhere deep down
at the bottom of the mineshaft
a little light was flickering.
We spoke to her, sometimes loudly,
We held her hand and felt its warmth
We stroked her hair.
We expected the end in hours or a day,
More morphine and more wild animal rasping
on into the morning and the next morning.
Work days are missed, meetings postponed,
return flights canceled, everyone thinking
please hurry up, and feeling guilty for it,
asking the doctor how long now, and
how could her oxygen level be going back up.
More morphine and more animal breathing.
Just as she lived her life
she would die on her own terms, by God,
and screw us and our goddam schedules.
Sitting at her bedside, I realized
that someone who could be so infuriating in life
was now infuriating us with her death.
My sister looked over and wondered
what I was laughing about