Like a Thief in the Night
by Amery Bodelson

He left, up and gone.
Lulled by the languorous
drip of the morphine.
Tired of the mouse-pad skitters
of nurses’ feet in the corridors.
Disgusted with the things that
go for lunch around here.

He made no fuss—
didn’t want to bother anyone about
the moments that felt like he was
swimming through coagulated air.

He waited for her to come,
secretly pining for the morbid
allure of the deathbed scene.

He wanted to feel the caress of her fingers
one last time on his bony wrist,
wanted her to bend
over his head and whisper,
“You can go now, dad. I love you.”

But she never came.
And he went anyway.

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