Sun, 09/23/2018 - 18:49 -- hornr

TEN toes as he counts them

Curling and uncurling

As he commands them to move

For one of the last times

The doctor showed concern

The problem was too real


NINE years ago his grandson was born

On a rainy night and a cold one too

Earl was across the country

But his son, a new father

Sent his love across the phone

Earl couldn’t remember the last time he


EIGHT decades old, and Earl stopped walking

The chair was his new home

Sputtering over the tile

The garden of his own home

Now it might as well not be there

He missed the sound of


SEVEN children shouting and climbing

Earl chuckles to himself in the other room

Getting out of bed this morning

He had hit his knee on the floor

But felt nothing

He knew that he was


SIX miles of road isolate Earl’s house

From the rest of the world

The roads on the ground cut him off

And he feels betrayed

His blood and his bones laugh

And cut him off from


FIVE fingers on his left hand

The same hand that has a ring

Over the place the other two had been

Earl was a good man

In his broken body

He does what he can


FOUR his family, the most important thing

At least that’s what Earl believes

He sees them when he can

When his illness permits

It has gotten worse than they know

But Earl protects them from his


THREE parts of a disease

The fear, the pain, the guilt

Of being gone, and leaving

His loved ones without a patriarch

Earl knows he is loved

And he loves them


TWO eyes and two ears

Are the only way left for Earl

To interact with the world

Voluntary functions are, sadly,

Beyond his ability

But the emotions are real, and


ONE last thing that Earl needs to say

As he struggles to breathe

And to let the words out

The tears run down his face

He is so close to rest

I love you son




This poem is about: 
My family


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