i woke up
fire truck idling on cypress,
the sound of the engine belt turning
and 2:30 am
i looked out a window
with a peeling painted frame
to see the ambulance pull up
they pull the stretcher out and let
the legs fall and hit the ground
like death's shopping cart
and i wonder which one of them they're
going to finally pull out of there.
the old bitch who calls the cops on me
every couple weeks?
or the old man who's senile,
or pretending to be.
at first I hope it's him
so he'd finally be done
be finished with her
but then they come out after what
seems like a long time
with her on there
sick and out of breath
old lungs like two paper bags
hanging in a dusty chest
they stick her in the back and pull away
without the lights on
because the neighborhood is sleeping now
and in the morning no one will know she's
Robert S. Devine writes from Vancouver, BC.