Vigil

Vigil
Nicole Rahe

we don’t sit shiva
only after death
eating cold cuts
off plastic trays
spooning out
potato salad

we gather
as months lean forward
family   friends
creep in the door
some leave at dusk
to come back the next day
some make excuses
for dropping by
others endlessly say
they will come
but never do

we smoke on the patio
even those who don’t
chat aimlessly
laugh too often
and too loudly
one or two wander
into that room
to sit quietly
to talk a bit
to be there
while he is resting
others never pass
that space
that living room turned
dying room
hospital bed and machinery

we enjoy the time
though pleasure it’s not
these stolen hours
before death joins the party

about the author
Nicole Rahe is a native of Cincinnati and a member of the Greater Cincinnati Writer’s League. She works on perfecting her poetry in between raising three children with her unendingly supportive husband. She also credits a Chicken and a Unicorn for her continued endeavors in the writing world.

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