I Won't Know Him
Even though I know him
I won't know him.
I hear he's shrunk in size
down 20 pounds
from his usual husky physique
in just a few weeks.
I hear his speech is fuzzy,
like he's high on drugs,
but perhaps that's a good thing.
He was jovial and upbeat
when I saw him last,
contemplating knee surgery
and spending the last years of his life
in Florida with his grandkids.
Instead , his years of smoking
sometimes four or five packs a day
left his body rampant with cancer.
When I see him next
he'll be in a hospital bed
placed conveniently in his living room
in Queens, New York.
The taut white sheets
light cream coverlet
and stack of extra-thick pillows
support and comfort his every move.
Alongside his bedpost
hangs the morphine drip
that he can tweak ever so slightly himself
to ease his pain.
When I see him tomorrow
this man whom I've known for 40 years
will be a stranger to me.
If only I had seen him two months ago.
Causes Madeline Sharples Supports
Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, Culver City, CA
Vistamar School, El Segundo, CA
Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA (Endowment in...