His Last Day

May 28, 2009
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The smell of death
plagued my inhaling breath,
and I wrinkled my nose at the familiarity.
I greeted toothy grins
and crazy eyes.
I nodded at welcoming wails
and mumbled words.
“They don’t often see a young beauty like you,”
my dad had said.

We found him in the TV room.
His brittle skin-draped bones lay paralyzed on the recliner.
His skull lolled against the head rest.
I told myself
I would not cry.
His eyes sparkled as I approached
he remembered me today.
I could tell,
that he missed the East Coast breeze,
and the pungent aroma of tobacco in his pipe.
could take those memories away.

“How’s the world treatin’ you, Gramps?”
“Oh, the world’s treating me just fine.”
His pruned hands pulled me down
until his pursed lips brushed my cheek.
He knew.
I knew.
Today was the last of many.

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