I didn’t know his name.
Yet under the harsh lights
and sterile surrounding of the
I prayed for a stranger’s soul
to have safe passage.
I dimmed the lights.
repositioned your arms
above the covers
placed your head on a pillow
into a more
trying to soften the blow
but can one really lessen
that remains after a loved one has departed?
Death is so cruel
always on our heels
from the moment we take our first breath
if only we would realize
maybe we would
I watch, head lowered, as your family arrives
they part the curtains which hide your lifeless body
from the rest of the world
lest they give up hope and follow the road you have just traveled.
Your family , eyes glazed with tears
grief barely hidden behind tense smile
say a brief goodbye
and I prayed for them too.
Silently I placed yellow boxes
of tissue on the bedside table
willing myself to be
while your family shed their tears.
I imagine your spirit soaring through a black void
a final tear fell from your eye
as the green blip marched slowly across the screen
slower and slower until it stopped
you had finally accepted your battle was complete
I bathed you quickly and gently
removing all signs of our effort to reclaim your life.
the tape .
Silently I place the clichéd toe tag on your foot’s first digit
you have become biohazard
wrapped in plastic
and placed in a fridge like last night’s meatloaf.
As the refrigerator door closes
the click of the latch reverberates inside
the metal storage container signaling
the finality and unfairness of Death.