mother died of emphysema

"Dying, She Was Someone Else"

Sharing Stories
October 8, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
Free blogspot photo
Free blogspot photo Alice Roy

My mother died of emphysema at age 70.  

She never could stop smoking, even after she was diagnosed and was very sick.

  "Dying, She Was Someone Else"

Dying, she was someone else to me

and to herself perhaps or more entirely

herself than any other time, pared down

for the essential battle to breathe.

Great-eyed with each wrack of coughing

as if in awe—of what I am not sure

perhaps of what she could endure

perhaps at the enormity of pain

perhaps in fear of not enduring.

Trembling hands, oddly brown against the sheet,

after I was gone, lay still.

Alice Roy is a retired college professor living in Washington State. 


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