Saturday, March 29, 2014


Knock knock . . .

Who's there?
Medics, sir. We received
an alert from this residence.

My soul instantly wilts.

Since Grandma was taken
three weeks ago, it could only be Grandpa
that they've now come for.

May we come in?

There's no saying NO . . .
I want to, but instead I say nothing.
I just meekly open the door.

They follow their sleek black pods

to the east bedroom, those medics with
grinning assistant drones and sidearms,
to find

Grandpa sitting in his favorite chair,

putting down his detective novel,
fake cover, smiling,
apparently not surprised to see our guests.

He makes to stand

NO, sit down,
then their pods are clicking and bleeping;
lights play across all our faces.

The medics nod, severe young men so

healthy and fit. This man is very sick,
says one . . .
Yes. He will need a doctor, says the other.

My soul that was wilted brittle plant matter

has just been incinerated so. So . . . Doctors.
Worse than we thought. The final cinching
of a noose first tied by handsome young medics.

Grandpa, always strong-armed and steel-willed,

again tries to stand, gently reason, and protest.
A reassuring smile, I'm fit and I'm fine
then they strap him onto the gurney and wheel him out.

In the fading daylight we meet eyes,

Grandpa and us remaining three; but there are
no words, just fragile, trembling smiles. The ambulance
speeds away to join the others circling the block.

"Ambulances" Copyright © 2014 by D. Wickliff

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