He Gets the Joke
The strokes have more or less cut off his legs.
Where once he kicked the sea to keep afloat
After the kamikazes sank his ship,
Or walked and crooned a jillion bedside miles,
Eight babies on his chest, he now finds he
Can’t stand and take two steps across the room.
With wits intact but no mobility,
Here in this bed he’ll live and die and laugh
While his breath lasts. The hospice nurses come
To ply him with the standard inquiries
About his naptimes, pills, and vital signs.
To one bland query, he shrugs, “I’ll survive.”
“Dad, no you won’t!” we blurt. He laughs with us,
Owning mortality with joyful noise.
If you have any thoughts about this poem, Chris O'Carroll
would be pleased to hear them