Silent Stalker

“Death arrives among all that sound like a shoe

with no foot in it,”

-Pablo Neruda

sinking in the armchairs

of the waiting room. Death is written in the eyes

of the nurses as they ask the family to step

into a private room.

It likes to be announced from the lips

of knowledgeable doctors suggesting

the logical move. It caresses all the other faces

that stare at the bright yellow doors

waiting for a miraculous recovery.

Death lingers in the walls

it flickers with the lights

it rises with each machine-assisted breath

it sways to the singing of family members

before it steals the last dance.

Death slips into the brain as the switches

are flipped to OFF, and it fights animal

instincts as the mortal body convulses

with the effort of breathing with no

support. Death wins.

The singing, praying and tears of loved ones

will not stop death from stealing the last forced gasp

of air.

It is the thief that will take

the soul out of your bones, and the robber

of your loved ones.

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