A Route Obscure and Lonely
by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
With measured strokes, I brushed defiant hair,
Cascading waves that cancer left untouched.
You’d had enough of hospitals, that lack
Of privacy, imagining your home
Serene, secure, free from intrusive pests.
It would shock you to learn we’re not alone.
At dawn, the presence by the sills crispens,
Emerges as the drapes inhale into
A phantom shape. Infernal company,
Omniscient brakeman, timer in cold hands,
Poised, waiting, exhalations nearly through.
Lost in the territory of morphine,
Deciding to eject your breathing tubes,
You tossed away the life-saving device.
Asleep, I’m unaware — — till ghost commands
Arouse me full awake. There’s no choice but
To go rescue you, reconnect the air.
Long shadows darken the stairs, that peek-a-boo
Behind the hooded cloak. I startle you,
Attaching oxygen’s feed properly,
Removing you tonight from danger’s ledge.
A grimace rises from the bedding’s edge
As if to say, “Not now! I’ll tell you when.”