Dad didn’t want to go.
Always fearing that
this ailment
this illness
would be his last
he hovered at death’s door
and each time he walked away.

This time he asked if he could take
Schatzie the dog with him
not because he wanted him to die,
he just wanted company
When I mentioned that
he had made it to the big 8-0
(I guess that was praise)
he said, “I don’t want to die.”
He believed in heaven
but he wanted me to know
how hard it is to go into the dark.

Mom’s illness went fast
six weeks from start to finish
with rallies and relapses
short hospital stays
then one that scared her –
and me – because she
hallucinated a conspiracy
of doctors and nurses.

On that last day
when we had to decide
and to tell her
(I can’t bear thinking of it)
she – she – took flight.

Louise Kantro, retired teacher, is a cat-lover, bridge-player, and volunteer for CASA (court advocate for foster children). She has published poetry and prose in such journals and anthologies as Quercus Review, Cloudbank, Oasis, The Chariton Review, the new renaissance, South Loop Review, Caesura, and Monterey Poetry Review.