She warbled, “In that sweet by and by…” trailing

 off, dissolving into gasps for air,

still smiling, hand perched on the bedrail, frail.

Each breath was precious, not a word to spare.

“I never had much voice to speak of, even

 when I could catch my breath,” she fluttered.

The IV morphine gave her some reprieve.

“Oh, please, won’t you hold my hand?”

Smiles, uttered.

“I’m actually just a student doctor, ma’am.”

I felt a witless, useless dodo.


could not have prepped me for this last exam.

I didn’t want to fail her. She then took

my hand in hers. “No need to stay too long.”

My silence harmonized with her swan song.

You do not currently have access to this content.