Ellen Foos

Home Hospice

The health aide is a man new to getting groceries
and this is your first try at a last act.
I see you’ve propped “Do Not Resuscitate”
among the family photos.
A loose trellis of walking sticks and oxygen hoses
supports you on this ordained passage.
Each day qualifies as bad or good
dependent on what you ingested
and how it passes along.
Well-wishers direct you back to happy times
when death was indistinct, heavily garbed;
not this elbow to the eye
that morphine blocks with its own play.
You whistle in a thin show of humor,
picked up from the Marx Brothers perhaps,
when talk just isn’t very funny.

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Evening Out

          for Blossom Dearie

We’re out to celebrate, me and Stan,
in our modest way.
Sure, other day-trippers are doing the same,
having a little fun too,
we’ll try not to spoil the scene.

Once we lived here, drank the water,
bought cheese on the Avenue.
Now to catch a little romance
we overpay, wedge our way in,
sport last year’s couture.

We may hold hands
and when the piano plays
lean back, adjust our chairs.
If we miss the revolution or get to it late
someone, please hold the door.

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