For the Love of Joyce

my grandmother

my dad’s mom

the matriarch of that side

outliving everyone around her age

and an immense of younger as well 

to date

two of her own kids

my father and his older brother

today I went to see her in the hospital

the last time I went

a week earlier

she was carrying on





full of life

an ill

worn down

weak life

but a life nonetheless

today was not that life

today I looked into

the eyes of death

a scared


restless existence

her mouth moving

but no words exited

the eyes peered

with no focus or comprehension

constant jerking and restlessness

futile as the arms and legs

were bound to the bed 

that would be enough

to drive me mad in itself

I told her that I loved her

I asked if she was in pain

I told her to tell us

anyway she could

if she was in pain

her constant jerking

the blank stares

the mouth movements

were probably saying just that

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