During the Night
Earl Stewart, Jr.
I whispered gently to her
That he was in good hands.
I had taken that grand stand
In solemn vow that I valued his life,
I fathomed her pain,
As I gathered the history of his strife.
Disease is a strange thing—
How it rips and roars through the conscience of humanity, suddenly or
Over the long term.
She mentioned that the former
Was his plight.
She mentioned now how the dimness
Of his life light, how it
Threw the family they together
Fostered into such a great fright.
She mentioned how he had always been one known to fight.
I examined him, there lying
In supine and stuporous repose,
With hand and tool,
But her examination came
of the heart, the mind, the soul.
I could gather that her
Soul was troubled, that
Her anxiety stemmed from uncertainty,
No matter how much I explained
The detail of his care.
All she cared was that I simply cared
Enough to be there.
Her eyes so erythematous,
From reflecting over the days gone by,
How now she would be faced
With a void he would inexorably leave
Through no fault of his own volition,
How his condition would terminally
Affect her condition.
I left that night.
And the next day, just a few hours later, returned
Only to learn
That during the night,
A line had been drawn on my census
Through his name.
And when I looked up,
They were both gone.