You, Archibald MacLeish

Josee St-Amant

When we visited my late wife’s grandmothers in their assistant living facility, parked on the porch were ancient creatures in wheelchairs with mouths open like maws, their bodies gnarled in uncomfortable looking positions, and I hoped, like the old wanderer in the “Pardoner’s Tale,” that Death would be timely in my taking.

You, Archibald MacLeish

To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on …

Misremembering the season,
the week, the day,
whatever the reason

for this purgatoric stay,
the names of next of kin,
gone, forgotten. How to pray,

gone, forgotten. Manifold sins,
gone, forgotten. Autonomy,
long gone, forever forgotten.

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