© 2019 by Sarah Fraser MD

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Between gasps for air

She often wept.


She had not been outside

For six months,

A length of rubber tubing 

Connected to oxygen

Commanded her range.


Few visitors. 


"I used to be something to look at, you know.

Now look at me."

Again, she wept. 


"Are my lungs getting any better?"

I averted my eyes, 

Reassured her, shamelessly.


Days passed.

"Well, will you help me die?"

I pretended not to hear her,

Instead suggested another drug,

Commented on the impending spring,

"Some fresh air will lift your spirits."


I began to avoid her room,

Passed by the open door

In my clipped doctor's pace,


Silhouette of her curved spine against the window,

Each vertebra a prominent peak.


When she got sick

This last time,

Relatives arrived at her bedside

Who had not been there for six months.


When she died she weighed 67 pounds. 


Thank you to my colleague, Dr. McCarville, for contributing this poem as the first Guest Blogger for Sinus Rhythm. Dr. McCarville is a physician and a writer who lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. 

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