Friday, October 9, 2015

Her Long Illness by Donald Hall

Her Long Illness 
by Donald Hall 

          Daybreak until nightfall,
he sat by his wife at the hospital
          while chemotherapy dripped
through the catheter into her heart.
          He drank coffee and read
the Globe. He paced; he worked
          on poems; he rubbed her back
and read aloud. Overcome with dread,
          they wept and affirmed
their love for each other, witlessly,
          over and over again.
When it snowed one morning Jane gazed
          at the darkness blurred
with flakes. They pushed the IV pump
          which she called Igor
slowly past the nurses’ pods, as far
          as the outside door
so that she could smell the snowy air.

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