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?”
“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.