After Sextuple Bypass Surgery

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

“You requested a visitation,” the chaplain said,
hovering doubtful and black-garbed beside my bed.
“Wrong room,” I said , not unkindly.
Then noting his collar, added
“I’m old and sick,
not Catholic.”
He looked forlorn
so I said he could stay ,
even offered him my jell-o,
which he ate , by the way.

“I have nightmares,” I mentioned.
“Is it the morphine? ” he questioned.
“Maybe. Still, every night I’m standing
on an empty stage .
The audience has left.
I’m alone. I’m afraid .”

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