The Opposite of Hospice

She teeters along a hallway trailing
wrung hands, docs like crocs
snapping mouths open and shut
as she inches past,
carved and snow-capped as a glacier,
unmoved by worry.

BP, they croak, BP!
Still moving.
Oxygen, stat! Her tired feet continue.
Incantations resound across the land: Isordil, Metropolol, Hydralazine, Amlodipine, Lasix!
She can’t hear, hardly listens, keeps on.
Injection, they chant, bring her in. Give us blood for numbers.

Finally she halts and smiling, asks,
will there be ice cream for dinner?

—Judy Lent, Seattle, WA