To sleep and never wake sounds lullaby
to some, to others terror.
in a house up the street from my Aunt Ethel
faded. Bad ticker, Ronnie’s heart. Slick hair,
horn-rimmed glasses, open collar white shirt,
the one day he stole past.
Thank goodness today’s light
shines through glass
onto Edith’s cup of mortality,
the door through which we pass.
As she talks with her sister Ruth,
my mother, I eavesdrop.
That was then. Now, I’m terrified.
No good way to die, whether lullaby eased
or accident crushed,
or in a robe at a table, withered flesh
looking out at nothing.
and an older brother, Ronnie lived. His shirt
with an open collar in the breeze fluttered.
Ethel’s shadow on grass, her hand shields
her eyes from brightness. A yellow
ambulance’s red top whirls,
the ambulance pulls away from a kerb,
leaving her disturbed.